LIFE teaches us various lessons, and it’s in our best interest, albeit it’s an inconvenient truth, that those lessons aren’t learned easily. The best lessons are tough lessons.
Forgiveness is a perfect illustration of one of those poignant lessons. True forgiveness is one of the hardest things we’ll learn. And we can only learn it by applying it, though understanding why we ought to forgive underpins the genuineness of the forgiving act.
To say that forgiveness is a process is an understatement, but that won’t earn us any reprieve when we stand spiritually naked before God. Our Saviour has commanded us to throw our life away in order that we would save our life, and what better way is there to prove we’re really surrendered to our Lord?
Then, when we actually forgive someone who hurt us, especially an unrepentant person, we find out what a tussle it is. It can seem to get harder with time, not easier. ‘Forgiveness’ seems easy when the personal costs are low. But sooner or later the stakes are raised, and we really do then have to make a choice — how important is obeying the Lord?
Forgiveness isn’t forgiveness until it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done. Then we learn something of what it cost God when He forgave us. Forgiveness isn’t cheap. It costs.
Forgiveness is always more about obedience than it is about justice. When we understand this, finally we’ve understood the cost of obedience.
God’s forgiveness of us through Christ was about Jesus’ obedience, and not about justice. If God’s forgiveness was about justice, we would never have been forgiven.
Forgiveness is only hard when we think about justice. When we focus on obedience, forgiveness is easier.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.