Costly forgiveness – Hope 103.2

Costly forgiveness

By David ReayMonday 5 Jun 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Peter 2:21-25

21-25 This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

             He never did one thing wrong,
             Not once said anything amiss.

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls. (THE MESSAGE)

One of the reasons we struggle with forgiveness is that it is costly and painful. It cost Jesus terrible pain to make forgiveness possible for us. Forgiving others has its own pain. This is so because forgiveness involves facing our hurts. God didn’t ignore the problem of sin: we don’t ignore the problem of being sinned against.

Many resort to brushing wounds aside, dismissing or excusing offences against us. We just don’t want to stare the hurt in the face. We just hope we can move on without doing so. But we can’t. Just like human sin, these things have to be faced and dealt with not swept under the carpet.

Human forgiveness is not only costly but is invariably a process rather than a one-off event. In this one sense our forgiveness is unlike God’s forgiveness of us. So we dare not beat ourselves over the head if we find forgiveness is hard or that it takes time. Wounds take time to heal. Just when we think we have forgiven someone, we find we are still struggling.

We don’t give up. We realise it is a painful process not a simple event. The important thing about forgiving those who hurt us is that we are on the journey, we have that intention, we are in our own struggling and imperfect way seeking to not let that hurt shape our life. We are not consumed with hitting back despite temptations.

It may take days, it may take a lifetime. The important thing is that we are on the way. Forgiveness and not revenge is our aim, however imperfectly achieved.

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David Reay