Forgiveness, the Acceptance of God

It is wisdom to honor the Lord in the normal flow of life BY honoring the way life works.

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People are either searchers for the meaning of life or they aren’t, and never the twain shall meet it seems. But of the searchers, many find and pursue the wrong way. Maybe this is because they want the easy way in preference to the right way. It is hard for us as human beings to discern the right way when easier options are presented.

The way to LIFE is the path less traveled, through what Jesus calls the “narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13-14).

The easy way is almost always the wrong way. An easy way taken usually reveals a wrongly committed heart. As a force for LIFE, it is up to us to commit to choosing what is right, but that way is usually not easy. The way to LIFE seems hard in the beginning but is always the easier way when looking back. Many people prefer “easy” in the early going, only to lament the folly of such choices.



There’s a 2003 song by Christian artist, Nathan Tasker, titled “Waiting” that describes the authentic Christian life that not many Christians actually commit to living. A harder way that is easier in the longer run.

“Waiting” talks about a man“who lost everything he owned; everything he treasured was ripped from his hands and he found himself all on his own.”How is such a man to respond? I know this reality personally. It happened to me in September 2003. This song was a prophetic anthem for what was happening in my life—at just the right time.

In losing almost everything, a great deal was discovered. The song’s lyrics describe a form of living integrally committed to God. One WAITS faithfully for the promised delivery of a reliable hope beyond this world:

And then I know that my waiting Will not be in vain For everything I give up for Him He’ll give it back again.”

The lyrics reflect true discipleship. I call this lifestyle of true worship, living intentionally for eternity.“Waiting” describes an existence of self-discipline lived to the glory of God. It is always a blessing to the Christ follower who embarks on such a daily journey.

There are so many distractions in our worldly life. So many things compete for our attention. So many of these things take our focus OFF where our focus ought to be. Seeing everything through the lens of eternity, on the other hand, attunes our focus to what really counts.

Seeing everything through the lens of eternity, which is possible one day at a time, makes life better, easier, and more focused. It simplifies life. It is the right approach to life. We must become accustomed to saying no to many things we would like to say yes to.

The four lines of lyrics above reveal a fundamental shift in one’s philosophy of life. Do you see it? It is important to ask this question. Waiting is not done in vain. It is good to cling to hope in the expectation that all will be redeemed, ultimately:

Everything that He took from me, He will give back again…”

Now, THAT is faith!



Psalm 37 is the ultimate wisdom for people living this life regarding acceptance leading to forgiveness. I call Psalm 37 a form of biblical acceptance wisdom. The forty verses are pithy lessons on how to live this life wisely.

Psalm 37 commends us to accept injustices as they are—as they will always be. There WILL be injustice on earth. But God has already won, as dictated by Psalm 37’s wisdom. The psalm heralds the inevitability of eternity. It helps us to know there is a better way than railing against unavoidable injustices. It proclaims waiting as that way.

Verse 8 has always captivated me, and I have included verse 9 as both verses are a couplet:

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”


Jarring, isn’t it? There is no sugar-coating Scripture unless we were to disobey the Lord and re-write it to suit our own purposes.

My point from this pithy passage is that fretting leads only to evil. When it is unpacked, Fretting = Unmanaged Anxiety

Knowing this, managing our anxiety best—choosing to trust God by conscious intention—we can mitigate relational conflict. This is especially important given we cannot control people—their perceptions, thoughts, reactions, and actions.

Acceptance is THE way we mitigate fretting that equals unmanaged anxiety that leads to evil.



Using this acceptance wisdom, we live a prosperous life. This is because it is wisdom to honor the Lord in the normal flow of life BY honoring the way life works. Fret and we cause evil—we become propagators of malevolence. But live by acceptance, and we align with how life actually works.

Living a life of faith, which is so often about accepting everything we cannot change, we live in the lap of the wisdom of Psalm 37. Live by commitment to goodness, and we are blessed in the moment even as we are also eventually blessed.

The only way we can truly arrive at acceptance is to forgive. Indeed, acceptance and forgiveness are basically interchangeable. When we truly live and let live, we demonstrate our capacity to accept that we are NOT God. We show that we accept our human finiteness. We accept that we are not in control of an amazing number of things in this life. We are growing when we can accept these things.

The ability to accept the things we cannot change is one-third of wisdom. The other two-thirds are having the courage to change the things we can and having the wisdom to discern the difference between acceptance and need for agency to create change.



Given that God’s forgiveness is the undeserved favor we enjoy, we are to accept that undeserved favor ourselves and extend it, as far as forgiveness is concerned, to others. This does not mean that people will not face the consequences of their actions.

Forgiveness and justice are not mutually exclusive. Forgiveness and justice do, and often must, occur simultaneously on the same matters. Given that the full gravity of justice can still occur within the same bounds of the fullness of forgiveness, justice is free to be done aside the releasing of relational debts. This means people can forgive all the while perpetrators are eventually held to account.



In life, it does not matter who wins and who loses, who gets ahead when they shouldn’t, or even who seems favored over those who aren’t. None of this matters in the overall scheme of things. Everything is SEEN by God, who eventually brings justice. This will be revealed in the end, and EVERYTHING pales into insignificance in the light of the eventual truth that will be revealed.

God’s acceptance wisdom is something we are invited into. By partaking in what is God’s—because God shares with us all He is and all He is about—we embark on a life beyond the troubles and struggles of this world. Not that we won’t have them. The point is, we WILL! But they won’t matter to us as much. The troubles and struggles of this world will not have the typical effect, and in some ways, we will be even more concerned because of the impact these troubles and struggles have on others. There WILL be injustice, but with acceptance is peace.

Attaining God’s acceptance wisdom is a gift of such surrender that WHEN we have it, we are simply just so very pleased we do. It is a miracle of reception. In the receiving is the enhancement of faith, for we bear witness to the power of God to subdue our flesh to the degree that we delight in waiting, in losing, in NOT possessing.

In this, we know deep within ourselves that the true rewards are heavenly. These heavenly rewards are bestowed on us for our relinquishing our grip on what we have here and now.



God’s acceptance wisdom is powerful not only for us but it is also powerful in effect for our approach to others. When we are living it, we readily accept that others will often appear favored, others will get ahead, and others will win. We accept it. We accept that fretting and becoming frustrated leads only to evil. We have faith that our loving responses serve both the other person and us.

We are not to get angry about unfavorable realities, and we can even celebrate with others when we lose or don’t get our own way. As if losing and winning and getting our own way or not is even the point of life! It isn’t. In such acceptance wisdom is peace for all and good for the culture amid community.

Remember the reason this is HOW it is. Our faith is in the eventual justice that always seems to be delayed. All things will be righted, eventually. There is nothing surer. See how in this the wisdom of forgiveness?


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Tribework

Featured Image by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

Steve Wickham is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He holds several roles, including husband, father, peacemaker championing peacemaking for children and adults, conflict coach and mediator, church pastor, counselor, funeral celebrant, chaplain, mentor, and Board Secretary. He holds degrees in Science, Divinity (2), and Counselling. Steve is also a Christian minister serving CyberSpace i.e. here.

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