Resurrected Thinking

21 May

I can forgive but I WON’T forget!! I could never forgive her for hurting me so badly. I’m a pretty good person…definitely a lot better than he is.

These are all statements that I’ve heard people say, and they’re all statements that I’ve made. And…they are all wrong. I believe that when most people say that they can forgive but they won’t forget, what they are really saying is: “I want to look like I’ve forgiven that person,” when in reality, they will remind the person of their failure over and over. It isn’t real forgiveness.

The next statement occurs when a person is deeply hurt, and most likely has justification for feeling hurt. However, when we say that anyone has done something that is so bad that we are not going to be able to forgive them, we are in a dangerous land. It isn’t real forgiveness.

The final statement is a spurious correlation. If any of us ever are tempted to compare ourselves to others in order to think of our standing before God, then we’re climbing up the wrong tree. Forgiveness has nothing to do with how good or bad other people in our lives happen to be. That is legalism. The law was fulfilled when Jesus died for our sins. We now live in freedom and grace and forgiveness. Legalism offers no forgiveness…just exhaustion and disenchantment.

Forgiveness is tough. It requires perspective and humility and the most of all…love. Unconditional love, actually. Jesus offered the most spectacular gift of forgiveness when he died for our sins on the cross. Forgiveness is a free gift that is offered to us, but there is one catch…you have to forgive everyone in your life that has hurt you, too.

I have a feeling that this is a message that a lot of people need to hear as they deal with the dysfunctional relationships in their own lives. I’m right with you.

Lord, give me your perspective in each relationship in my life. Help me to love like you do and to freely offer forgiveness to anyone who hurts me. Help me to never buy into any of the forgiveness myths.

Peace,

Neil

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One Response to “Resurrected Thinking”

  1. jalack June 20, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    that is a great prayer. i have heard this time and time again coming from my own mouth. how can we be forgiven if we can’t forgive. thank you brother.

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