Monday, October 26, 2015

Conditional Forgiveness

By Andrea Merrell

“I’ll forgive her when she apologizes and not before!”

A statement like that is usually born out of the heat of the moment, or a long, festering period of anger and resentment. Even though it’s totally understandable, it’s not healthy or scriptural.

If Jesus had waited on all those who persecuted, tormented, and crucified Him to come and confess their wrongdoing, there would have been no forgiveness. Jesus responded in love and in accordance to His Father’s Word.

The truth is people need love and forgiveness the most when they deserve it the least—even you and me. When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” He was teaching us that the ability to pardon the sins of others is an act of faith and sheer obedience. It is not conditional or based on the response of the offender. In fact, it’s not for their benefit … it’s for ours.

God tells us to forgive so we can be forgiven. So how is your forgive-o-meter? Are you putting conditions and unrealistic expectations on others? If you are, or if you’re having trouble getting past a painful situation, think about all God has done for you. Think about the sacrifice Jesus made so all your sins could be washed away by His shed blood. Call to remembrance all the things you have been forgiven for.

God shows each of us love and forgiveness the most when we deserve it the least, and He expects us to do the same.

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/StuartMiles.)

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