IF/THEN: If I Were Forgiving
IF I WERE FORGIVING, THEN I would show my understanding of having been forgiven (Col. 3:13). But the power of rationalization is relentless. You see, God can forgive because He is perfect and I am not. How then can I expect to forgive when I lack such perfection? Furthermore, what others have done to me is worse than anything I have done to God, so obviously God can forgive me more readily than I can forgive them. However, if I were forgiving, I would have to take this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion – which is to realize that those I have offended believe that what I have done to them is worse than anything they have done to God. This will always result in a stalemate.
If I were a forgiving person, I would not make comparisons about the degree of wrongdoing but focus on the Cross which is where all forgiveness must be sought. There is a level playing field at Calvary. In the midst of my pain I would return to this hill and ask God to search me and see if there be any wicked way in me (Psalm 139). If I were forgiving, I would not play the numbers game by assigning blame percentages. Rationalization is not easily deterred and you might say that the situation you are hard pressed to let go of is not a percentage issue. They slandered your reputation without being provoked which puts all the blame squarely on their shoulders. Calvary comes into view again because if percentages were assigned, then Jesus would be partially at fault and thus unable to forgive the way He wants me to forgive. However, He did nothing wrong yet took all the blame.
Is there not a message here? The Cross forgives even my unforgiveness. None of us have ever forgiven perfectly, but our Substitute has. He has not only forgiven all who come to Him but has taught us how to forgive those who have hurt us the most. Who do you need to forgive right now? “As” is now a very big word, for we are to forgive AS we have been forgiven.
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Whenever I find myself carrying a grudge (unforgiveness) I ask Jesus to do the forgiving through me. He does. I pray for the person who has me upset and before I know it, my peace is restored and I can find love for that person. It costs me nothing to forgive a transgression. It cost Jesus a great deal. After all, He forgave me everything!