Nov
17
2014

The end product of forgiveness

In my last post, I discussed the importance of forgiving and forgetting sin committed against us. I made the case that with divine assurance, whilst we may not be able to forget the ‘sin’ committed against us in some circumstances, God can help us remove the hurt and pain of it. So I really thought this was the end product until I heard another sermon about what forgiveness looks like. This time, we’ll consider the role of grace and mercy. In the place of forgiveness we come to a place of weakness and that’s where the grace of God is made available to each one of us.

I am convinced more than ever that to forgive is actually a high calling. It’s to be like God – forgive as your heavenly Father forgave you. Sometimes it might seem like forgetting, you are letting people off the hook but let’s look at the whole scenario.

When someone offends you, you know you have a Father in heaven who will take up your case. Romans 12:19-21:

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now we know it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). The offender is held responsible for their actions.

Our natural instinct when we are offended is look to God to punish the person but this is where mercy comes in. We have to remember that we are not victims of other people’s actions – our lives are in God’s hands.

The scriptural response to forgiveness is an interesting one. Not only do you forgive the person but you turn around and bless them. So after being told to forgive those who have offended us, we leave things in the hands of God. There is an interesting word linking vs 19 and vs 20. It’s the word ‘therefore’.

Therefore when people hurt us or indeed when we hurt others, we want to get on our knees and ask for grace and mercy for them, so that they can be restored to wholeness (particularly if they are a Christian).

Sometimes, you almost wish some words were not in the scriptures because they challenge us and make us uncomfortable. God’s intervention is to make us more Christ-like, not more comfortable.

Often, we find it more difficult to forgive our parents and loved ones who have the ability to hurt us more than others. Do we really want to let them off? Well, we have to remember that Jesus is the appointed judge, not us.

Jesus made a reality of what He was preaching. On the cross, He prayed for the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). Stephen also picks up this principle in Acts 7:60, where prior to being killed, he prayed that God would not hold this sin against them.

Dare we do anything different?

 

In conclusion, the end product of forgiveness is actually interceding on behalf of the offender that God will bring mercy and grace into their lives; asking that just as God blotted out their sins, we should also blot out their sin.

That, my friend, is the high calling to which we are called. Remember His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life.

Therefore, until I appear again in your inbox with more insight from the scriptures, stay blessed

 

Ola

 

 

 

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About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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