At the risk of losing a couple of subscribers like the last time I wrote on this controversial topic, I’m going to ask for your grace. Now stick with me, this is a short post, and if you are a subscriber and comment, you can win three books that will be perfect for your summer vacations. Each book takes place in a coastal state and deal with this topic in some way. They are Still Waters by Lindsey Bracket, The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson, and The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck.
So what is this scary topic? Forgiveness. All of these stories require a character to extend grace in difficult circumstances. In our real lives, forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things we are called to do, but we should forgive quickly even when the person has not apologized. Jesus taught all we need to know about forgiveness.
“Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22. Y’all know I don’t do math, and even I know that’s a lot of times, but sometimes that’s what it takes.
I love that Jesus doesn’t give any other instructions–simply just keep forgiving. In my experience when the topic of forgiveness comes up, everyone has their own thoughts on how forgiveness should look. They often include conditions about not forgetting the wrong or letting an unapologetic person know that he has been forgiven. But that’s not what the Bible teaches us, so why do we think we get to create our own versions of forgiveness? Sorry if I’m stepping on your toes. Never fear, I’m stepping on mine as well. I think that’s one of the reasons Jesus says to forgive so many times, eventually we will do it with a pure, loving heart.
I think forgiving others is one of the ways we can truly feel the Holy Spirit working within us. We can’t do this on our own. Grace is against our human nature, but y’all, it is so good for us.
Forgiveness produces a compassionate heart, while unforgiveness fosters bitterness.
“The Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18.
As we learn to forgive quickly and unconditionally, we draw closer to the Lord. Our hearts can find peace and joy because we know God is faithful. Although it is often difficult to understand why he doesn’t punish wrongdoers or save us from their wrath, we can be thankful that he shows us the same mercies.
Friends, “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.
Life is too short to seek vindication and too long not to show grace.
How has someone shown you grace?
Is there a book or movie that you love about forgiveness?
Why is forgiveness important to you? How do you do it?
Tell me your thoughts or favorite quotes or a bible verse. Subscription to this site and a comment on this post or last week’s will enter you in the three book Summer Reading Giveaway. Only for USA readers. I can’t wait to hear from you on the website.