Forgiveness is a trust. A merciful action based on a decision to extend mercy because mercy has been extended to us—mercy that gave us unlosable salvation—we reciprocate God’s love. We love God back as we forgive others.
Forgiveness is as simple as loving God back for the mercy that has been extended to us.
When we reduce the love of others, the love of our neighbor, to the attitude and action of forgiveness, we live a powerful love that works two powerful ways. It delivers a compelling love of hope and grace in all our relationships, plus it is the trust of God, which is God’s only requirement of us when we have accepted our salvation—God’s wisdom for OUR own good.
Forgiveness is the wisdom of God that crushes evil’s design to steal hope, kill love, and destroy peace.
Forgiveness is the wisdom of trust. We must trust God to truly forgive, making forgiveness one of discipleships most important performance indicators. Those who take their faith seriously, seriously trust God to the extent of understanding and appreciating the value of the mercy that has been extended to them as an individual. It motivates behaviors of reciprocity.
In trusting God, a door is opened to us that opens up to us access to a power we can only receive through an iron-clad trust of God. God must be our god. We march to God’s tune alone when we extend the mercy God’s extended to us to others, each and every time.
Living wisely is living a life of mercy, repelling daily the instincts to harm others, and in resisting the deliberate holding of hurts, disappointments, and betrayals that cling to us from relationships we can’t control during our lifetimes.
NOW, ABOUT JUSTICE
Justice remains eternally important, and in forgiveness, what we’re doing is transferring the debts others refuse to pay to us to God, even as, in forgiveness, we repay ALL our debts.
Recognizing we’re here for a finite time, the real point of life is recognizing that we will MEET God in eternity, and it will be there that a cosmic and irreversible transaction will take place. True justice and true accounting occur. It is a trust of faith to know that this does take place, as it is a trust to live as if it will occur, to the reverence and glory of God.
God knows that we must leave justice to eternity. This is the trust of the requirement, and there’s wisdom in it because we in our human lives need to uncouple ourselves from the demands that justice be done to our satisfaction because God knows we will never be satisfied other than via true reconciliation—which beyond justice, is only available on earth when parties reconcile by making peace.
Justice is infinitely important to God, and at times, and in God’s way, God opens up opportunities for injustice to be reconciled. That is, in the fullness of time, and by the circumstances of change, where God makes injustice plain to everyone, those who have faced injustice get their opportunity to love their enemy well with the truth even as they have forgiven their debts, having transferred those debts to God to judge.
FORGIVENESS, THE WISDOM OF GOD
Where this needs to start and end is in the truth that says, “The days are evil.”Paul speaks most urgently of our need to live as wise, not unwise, “making the most of every opportunity…”
Two issues that are under the guise of “evil” are temptation and persecution. One we have a problem with as individuals, the other individuals and entities cause us problems.
The key temptations in life get under our guard and hurt and then harden our hearts. Hardness of heart leads to an incapacity to forgive. The worst of it is an absolute loss of insight—that inability to see how merciful God has been with us.
Persecutions occur in many different ways, not least through gaslighting, but there are manipulations, isolation, physical injury, intimidation, etc. Persecutions can and often do lead to disheartening that usually boomerangs back as a hardened heart. Victims respond to the abuse that is done to them by what’s called “reactive abuse.”
Forgiveness is the key way we guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23; Philippians 4:7), and the key truth to return to is the mercy of God. Indeed, Paul highlights from the first eleven chapters of Romans, having set out a forensically perfect case for the gospel, that everything that God has already done is more than sufficient to motivate us to live a life of forgiveness, which is love, sincerity, gentleness, gratitude, and grace, etc.
In terms of a living modus operandi, forgiveness is the unbeatable wisdom of God.
Forgiveness for a Christian is as simple as loving God back. There is no better way of loving God than loving others through the forgiveness that God commands us to do.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Tribework
Featured Image by Ryan Porter on Unsplash
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