The limits of forgiveness - Hope 103.2

The limits of forgiveness

By David ReayFriday 21 Nov 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 12:18

18 If it is possible,as far as it depends on you,live at peace with everyone. (NIV)

This side of heaven we can’t have right relationship with everyone. Not even God can manage that! Paul reminds us of this in our text today. We do aim for peaceable relationships with all,but he implies this is not always possible. It takes two to form a healthy relationship. We can’t do it single-handedly.

So we must never confuse forgiveness and reconciliation. We are responsible for offering forgiveness to those who hurt us. Just as God offers forgiveness in Jesus for all who reject him. Are all reconciled to God because of that? Not at all. The offer has to be accepted,the need of pardon has to be acknowledged. So it is with us: we refuse to hit back,we do what we can to be at peace,but ultimately if the other party doesn’t respond then the relationship is impaired. And it is not our fault.

We do well to do the hard work of forgiving,but we dare not take on ourselves the impossible work of reconciliation. God is not to blame if his offer of reconciliation is refused. Nor are we to blame in our own situations. Sadly,we have to live with broken relationships despite our best efforts. This is very painful. God knows exactly how we feel!

David Reay