I don’t want to forgive…
Consider the Cross
You will never understand true forgiveness apart from the cross. True forgiveness of our fellow man is an expression – a testimony – to the power of the Gospel in human form. When we realize the magnitude of the depravity of which we have been forgiven – the weight of our sin – then we will understand that forgiveness is not based upon the worth of a person but rather the love of God that is flowing through us. [Eph.2, Rom. 3:23, Rom. 5] The cross made it possible for our forgiveness and the ability for us to forgive others. Never lose sight of the cross because, in so doing, you will lose sight of what it means to forgive. God gave His only son to be mutilated upon the cross so that we might know forgiveness of every wrong. This must be our motivation, our foundation, and our lifestyle when it comes to the issue of forgiveness.
Bitterness is Real
However, we must not fail to recognize that bitterness is real and deadly. How do we deal with it? Is it a matter of perspective?
Forgiveness is a Miracle
In all reality, forgiveness is a miracle because no one – when seen through the mirror of our sin – deserves forgiveness. We have it all backwards. We fail to see that it was us that offended a holy God not the other way around. Judgment is what we deserve so, therefore, the fact that He would choose to forgive His people is a miracle. We do not and never will deserve that forgiveness. Anyone who continues to reject His gift of salvation cannot blame God but only themselves – condemned to eternal judgment. But thanks be to God that He has forgiven those whom He has called! Let us forgive as He forgave us! [Mark 11:25 & 26] Others may not deserve it, but neither do we.
Forgiveness is a Choice
God made an eternal choice to forgive His chosen race of their sin. Those of us who are of that race – who possess an understanding of the weight of forgiveness through the Spirit – must make the same choice to forgive all those who wrong us. We can do no less, because forgiveness does not happen by default. Otherwise, you do not know or understand the forgiveness that you thought you found at the cross.