Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Now?

Will someone please point me to the scripture that gives us liberty to repay sin with sin? There seems to be a trend of such about me and I am really struggling to overcome it at this time. Is there no forgivness in this world anymore? Do I ever present myself as above reproach?

As I grow older I find myself more and more asking forgivness of people that I feel I have wronged in the past. Rather it be from poor decisions or a failed ability to control emotions, I do feel led to request the forgivness of many. By doing so I often feel a tremendous burden lifted from me and sense of sincere peace. After this point, I have met my requirement to be set free from such burdens. At this point it is no longer up to me to convince you to forgive me. The burden now lies with you and until you decide to forgive me, I am still tied to that burden.

Let's say that I intentionally break into your home and steal your jewelry (which, just for clarification, I have never done to anyone). You subsequently call the police and I am apprehended and arrested. You are told you must come to the jail and visit me to get your jewelry back and by doing so you and I have a face-to-face encounter. At this time, I explain to you that I was obviously not thinking clearly and I ask for your forgiveness. The police tell you that with your forgiveness I may be set free from jail. You now have a decision to make: forgive me and set me free or hold on to your bitterness, anger, or confusion and keep me locked away due to that crime.

Of course we are given instruction from Christ about how often to forgive others when he effectively told his Disciples to give out an infinite amount of forgiveness (70 X 7 times are you to forgive). Even to those who may never forgive me for wrongs I may have committed, although it pains me to know such, I have been given peace Christ. My sins as well as all who read this did something worse to Christ than steal jewelry, lose control, say hurtful things, or even be less than a Christian example. Our sins cost Him a brutal and horrifying death in the most inhumane form possible. Left to hang there bloody and naked, this Savior had the strength to look down on those who drove nails through His hands & feet and plead to God for their forgiveness. How petty we truly are that we can't forgive one another for minor infractions that occur during our short and selfish lives?

Nowhere do we have permission to repay sin with sin. Being unforgiving is a sin and a sign of a true lack of faith. I have struggled with it but I try to realize that what ever pain I may suffer on this Earth, it will never compare to that of my Savior. How can we hold grudges as Christians? We can't. Do I want to forgive people for wrongs that befall me? Not always. Then I remember what John wrote about why we should be forgiving in 1 John 2:12: "I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake." My sins have not been forgiven for me, they have been forgiven to bring glory to God and His only Son Jesus Christ. What small portion of glory can I help bring to this loving God by forgiving those who harm me? When wronged personally I now aim to forgive individuals even before I allow anger or hurt grab hold of me. Regarding the small amount of discernment that I attempt to share on this blog, that is not a personal harm to me and if I write something on here about a teaching or false doctrine, I will gladly remove it once those thoughts or teachings are retracted. However, it is not for me to forgive you after that point, that is between you and your Maker. May God help us all to love one another, as flawed as we are, and to forgive one another "for His name's sake."

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