Forgiveness is such a complex topic and I feel that even trying to write a short post on this topic may seem like I am "dumbing" it down a bit. This is not my aim, but I do want to venture a few thoughts on this 'hard' topic.
Most people are overjoyed to receive the mercy and forgiveness of God. To hear the words, "Your sins are forgiven" is like hearing, "you have won the Lotto" - except it could be even better! In fact, many modern Christians come to expect that it's God "job" to forgive our sins and to wipe clean the slate of our messed-up lives ... again and again!
However, what we fail to grasp is that God asks us to live as forgiven people, treating others with the same mercy and grace that God has revealed to us. In other words, God expects that "Forgiven People, will Forgive!"
Now, hang on a minute, that is a tough call. God seems a little hasty in His expectations doesn't He? Does God really believe I should be forgiving those who have wronged me and ill-treated me? The answer is 'Yes' - even as hard as that may be. Forgiveness can release us from the bondage that we may be experiencing. When I choose to forgive those who have wronged me, then I release the power they have over my life. I give back control to God and take it away from the person that hurt me.
Worth thinking about, perhaps?!
Message (Eugene Peterson) - "You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."
Living in Grace