I’ve been thinking about forgiveness a lot recently. A pastor friend of mine jokingly asked me what kind of series he should preach about, and for some reason I said forgiveness.
Since then it’s been on my mind. I have had a couple incidents where I had to step back and realize that instead of being mad at someone, forgiveness was the best route, both for myself and the other party. But, man, it isn’t easy. Also, I’ve observed some other situations in which I tried to think about my own reaction.
Here’s the conclusion I came to: sometimes forgiveness seems foolish.
I know what you’re thinking, “Did he just say that?!” But, if you consider some of the the terrible circumstances people have been in where one person is completely and unjustly ripped apart in some form or fashion and, by the world’s standards, this person would seem to be justified for holding a grudge forever.
Then think about every situation that came to your mind and combine them into one, and then multiply that by some arbitrarily huge number….the result is the amount of sins that God forgives. And not just little ones…huge ones.
Paul hunted down and murdered Christians…forgiven.
Insert your story here…forgiven.
That is amazing, but it also weighs heavy for us. Forgiveness is the center of what happened at the cross. If we don’t forgive (and I’m not saying immediately after someone wrongs us, or that we should have the exact same relationship with someone who has wronged us or anything over-the-top like that because every situation is different) then we don’t have a right understanding of the gospel.
Here’s what Jesus said about it: Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
God, thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for putting people in my life who forgive me when I have wronged them. Let me earnestly seek the forgiveness of those who I have wronged. Help me be quick to forgive, help me to forgive huge offenses (no matter how long it takes) and help me to never hold a grudge.
– Patrick Stanley