Forgiveness and not being a doormat.

Posted: April 25, 2014 in Me and Jesus
Tags: ,

A lovely friend of mine asked me to write this.

One of the hardest topics as a Christian is forgiveness. When it comes to forgiving others that is. Ofcourse very few Christians have problems with God forgiving them.

The forgiveness we would like from God is unconditional and free, it does not demand payment as we recognise that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross creates the means by which God forgives us.

However, there is one, huge, huge caveat.

Jesus in the Lord’s prayer says “Father forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Thus, if we want complete, full forgiveness from God. We have to forgive others.

Sounds simple doesn’t it but it is notoriously hard to do.

If we realise our forgiveness from God could just be dependant on how we forgive others, that puts a whole new light on it.

Nelson Mandella said “Forgiveness is a powerful weapon”. I would add, yes Nelson, but it comes at sometimes a high price until we look to Jesus on the cross.

There are still consequences though, for example, if someone steals something from you, Jesus says in Matthew 5:40 “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”, surely not Jesus, surely we should pay what is asked?

Jesus has this thing about going the extra mile, when someone steals something from you, give them something else!

WHAT?

My possessions Lord I’ve worked so hard for?

I want to say don’t give them anything else and lock your stuff away.

Jesus doesn’t seem keen on the whole idea of protectionism, “I forgive you but leave me alone”.  He is more interested in reconciliation.

So if I want reconciliation and forgiveness from God then I have to do the same to others.

It works when judging as well, as you judge others so you shall be judged.

Does Jesus command us therefore to be a doormat?

No because a doormat cannot show love or servanthood to the person who has offended us. Jesus asks us to be a better person by repaying pain with love and that is really hard.

But, forgiveness must come with wisdom, if someone keeps breaking things, may be a good idea to put things out of their way. If someone steals from you, forgive them but be wise about leaving your wallet out, it’s more loving not to because then no offence is created.

Overall, it’s about love.

That’s my thoughts on the subject but I recognise just how hard it is to forgive, especially when there is a lot of pain involved. Forgiveness is a powerful weapon, but one that sometimes takes time to yield. Healing from hurt is a whole other story as is repairing the loss that has happened.

Jesus died on the cross to make it possible, don’t think for one minute that was not a painful experience.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”

Sometimes this can be the first step.

“Lord, Please forgive them and let me come alongside you in forgiveness, show me what you want me to do to reconcile things”.

(or for the more desperate)

“I can’t believe they’ve done it again Lord”, to which He responds, “they are just like you”.

Awkward, very Awkward.

 

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