Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Let me say it once again. Forgiveness is not an event; it is a process. Step one is releasing the offender. Step two is forgetting the offense. Step three is forgetting that you had to forgive. That’s the way God does it, and we are to forgive even as God does for the sake of Christ. Note closely my last statement. God forgives, not for the sake of Jesus, but for Christ’s (the Anointing’s) sake. The anointing and presence of the Anointed One being fully active in your life is worth so much more than you harboring vengeance, or the will to get even, in your life.
Let’s consider, for a moment, the full picture of God’s forgiveness process. It begins with the release. When a believer sins, if he confesses his sin, Father is faithful and just to forgive that sin, and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness. In simple terms, He lets the person who sinned go free from that sin, and allows the blood to cleanse the believer of all sin. For that to be fully manifest, the Lord not only release the offender, but He must cast that sin away from them as far as the east is from the west, into the depths of the sea. The Lord MUST forget the sin. But it doesn’t stop there.
Think about this. Suppose you sin. Quickly after you sin, you confess that sin to Jesus. What does He do? He forgives the sin and cleanses you from all unrighteousness. But then, a few days later, you fall prey to the same sin. When you confess, does Jesus say, “Alright, I’ll forgive you, but you did the same thing four days ago. You must stop that.”? The answer is, “Absolutely not.” He has forgotten that accepts you as though this was the first time. But let’s dive deeper. Neither will His response be, “You know, you’ve got to stop this sin stuff. It seems to me you did something recently, and yet, here you are again.” You see, when God forgives, He releases you fully from that sin when you confess it. And then, in order to complete the forgiveness process, He forgets the offense, and then He forgets that He had to forgive in the first place. That, my dear friend, is Biblical forgiveness.
We are to imitate that pattern of forgiveness when we are called upon to forgive others. But there’s the rub, isn’t it? As tough as it may seem, letting go of the offender is the easy part. To fully release the offense, it is necessary to forget it. Yet how does one forgive and offense when the scar from the offense is ever present? It requires major faith, and only the God-kind of faith will do the job. Then faith must be continually applied to forget that you had to forgive and forget. Feast on the Word, my friend.
Manna for Today – Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 7:20; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10; Luke 17:1-10; 1 John 1:9; Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12