“A forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note, torn in two and burned up, so that it can never be shown against the man. “ -Henry Ward Beecher
As I was babysitting recently, I noticed a trend among the young kids that were there.
No matter what happened, who stole who’s toy, who pushed who, who got more mac and cheese- EVERYONE still wanted to have a joint sleepover at night.
And for the most part, it usually took about five minutes of sulking, maybe a little temper tantrum or two, a few tears and they forgave eachother.
At one point, I watched a little boy legitimately sack another little guy off the swings.
I’m like running towards them ready to WWE wrestle with this little “tough guy”, when I realize that the little boy who was pushed STILL WANTS TO PLAY WITH THE LITTLE BOY WHO PUSHED HIM!
My mind was blown! I’m like, “um, hellurrrrrr, you just almost got a concussion! And you still wanna play with this little punk?”
Truthfully, those were my thoughts. I asked for forgiveness already, don’t worry.
But this re-taught/reminded me of a crucial lesson: Forgiveness forgives AND forgets.
It’s not a “well, I mean I will forgive you but I will never trust you again” kinda deal.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
It allows someone to pushed off a swing, dust the wood chips off, cry a tear or two and go right back to loving his playmate.
Granted, this situation was a little easier to forgive, but think about the magnitude of forgiveness that our God must have.
Not only does He forgive you for EVERY single thing that you do, He forgets it and He still chooses to pursue you.
I don’t think He does this for us just for show; I think He asks us to do the same.
Sure, there are many, many, many things that are very difficult to forgive.
A friend betrays you.
Your parents disappoint you.
You realize you’ve been fooling yourself.
Forgiveness includes forgiving others, but you also must forgive yourself.
It’s almost like a gross looking casserole (work with me here).
Based on how it looks, it doesn’t seem appealing.
The ingredients? No way. Count me out.
Forgiveness? For THAT? Absolutely not!
But you choose to take a bite and to your surprise, it is incredibly delicious!!!
You choose to forgive? You realize the relief and freedom that comes with letting go of something that isn’t yours to carry.
That’s a rough analogy but you get my point.
God doesn’t always, and usually more times than most He doesn’t, ask us to do what seems like “appealing” things.
But we have a GOOD God, and being obedient to Him is never going to hurt us more than help us in the long run.
So, forgive someone today.
It can be something big.
Maybe it’s been on your heart for a while or it’s a fresh wound.
Whatever it is, let that person know that while it did hurt, they are forgiven and they are still loved!
It will set you FREE!
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” –Matthew 6:14
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:31-32