Perhaps one of the most counter culture things a Christian will ever do is to forgive. More specifically, to forgive God’s way in which the offending party is forgiven and the offense is no longer counter against him.
But this isn’t what today’s culture teaches us. Instead they say things like—
- “I’ll forgive them only if they’re really, really, REALLY sorry for what they did….
- …and I’ll forgive them only if they ask for forgiveness…
- …and then only I’ll only forgive them a certain number of times…
- …and most importantly, I may forgive, but I’ll never forget.”
Why do we feel this way?
- We buy into the old line: “Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice, shame on me,” and we don’t want to feel shame.
- We like to be in control. If we hold on to slights and injuries, then we have a trump card we can play later—“You owe me” or “This is why I don’t trust you.”
- We mistakenly think that forgiveness makes us appear weak, like our offender won and we lost. And we certainly don’t want them to think they can take advantage of us again.
- Because if they take advantage of us again it’s right back to, “Hurt me once…” so I’m going to make a preemptive strike and not forgive them.
Yes, forgiveness could make us appear vulnerable. Yes, we could be hurt again by the same offender. And, yes, we could be viewed as weak. But—The foolish thing that has its source in God is wiser than men, and the weak thing that springs from God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25, AMP). Total forgiveness is foolish looking in the natural, but it has God’s blessing on it.
With this in mind, the Apostle Paul wrote—
But Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
When we are totally reliant on Christ, that’s when His power rests on us. When we say, “I’m going to do this my way,” we block ourselves off from Christ’s grace and power and strength.
We need to remember HOW MUCH God has forgiven in us—He forgave ALL my sins and He no longer counts any of my treachery and rebellion against me. With this in mind, how dare I hold on to the comparatively small injuries others have inflicted on me (see Matthew 18:21-35).
“The noblest revenge is to forgive.” —Thomas Fuller
What are you waiting for? Get free today by giving and receiving forgiveness.