Monday, November 24, 2008
The Gift of Forgiveness
Sometimes I think that, in order to understand the amazing nature of the gift God has given us in sending Christ to die for the forgiveness of our sins, you have to know what it feels like to not be forgiven. Not only did Christ’s sacrifice take our sin away and enable us to be in relationship with God, it also took away the crushing weight of the knowledge that we were not forgiven. I’ve learned the hard way, from very personal experience, that when you wrong someone and then own up to it – when you apologize – and forgiveness isn’t forthcoming, the weight is almost too much to bear. You feel that you, personally, cannot be made right – that you are broken by your sin and cannot be mended. The relationship is also broken, for to look into the eyes of someone to whom you have apologized and know that in their heart they can’t find forgiveness inalterably changes a relationship, if it doesn’t destroy it completely. The mistrust that the lack of forgiveness creates – the fact that both of you (the unforgiven and the unforgiving) question each others motives and fail to trust one another – is a heavy burden. So not only do you know that your wrong is bigger than their love for you, but you are forced to forever question their love from that day forward. The pain that the lack of forgiveness creates is so great – how great is our God that He has spared us from it forever!