Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh, Forgiveness' Sake! (republished)

It caught my eye, and so I once read the following words on Pinterest:

The first to apologize is the bravest.

The first to forgive is the strongest.

The first to forget* is the happiest.



*In my opinion, "forget" does not necessarily imply total lack of physical remembrance, but of forsaking your anger, hurt and grudges.




THE PROBLEM

Let's examine that list. To begin, speaking quite personally, I find apologizing the most doable of the three. At times, I feel myself to be quite sincere as humanly possible; but there are more often times when I am probably not -- even decidedly not sorry (yet!) -- and yet still apologize. Is this indeed bravery? Or is it fearful, insincere, self-centered appeasement-making? Or even yet, am I apologizing on something trivial in order to fish out an apology I'd like to hear?

   What about you? Do you find forgiving people easy? Is that possibly ever because we don't really mean it (though we may think we do); is it that we are simply taking a detour -- perhaps for convenience -- by bottling it up for later? Is that strength?

   And how about forgetting? Is this action because of our deep love for our brethren which covers all their past faults from our eyes, or do we forget a misdeed only to avoid having to confront it, apologize for it, and/or forgive it? Is this happiness (or better yet, is this loving), to avoid addressing the problem at all costs?




INSEPARABLE

 Ideally, we want to be able and whole-heartedly willing in all three; I would even say one can't truly have one without all three.

   For how can we sincerely apologize and seek forgiveness -- how could we dare to? -- unless at the same time we each in our own heart knew that we would be willing to accept with purity and grace the apology of another? How can we forgive whole-heartedly if we ourselves would be unwilling to bow and ask forgiveness in the same situation? How can we forget: forsaking all malice, condemning all grudges and move on again, except that we repent and forgive these things which we have malice over?


Apology + forgiveness + moving on (for both repenter and confronter, offender and defender)  =  recipe for reconciliation :)


But there's more.




WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY?

[All Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, Holman Christian Standard Version (HCSB), unless otherwise specified.]


James 5:16 (NKJV) 
Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

^We must acknowledge our faults and lift them up together to God.


Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 ^It doesn't get much clearer than that.


Ephesians 4:32  
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17
Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive. Above all, put on love -- the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word and in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 ^Actions and attitude equally required, are they not?



   Now here's the bomb... Gotta love that Jesus.

Matthew 18:21-35  
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"

"I tell you, not as many as seven, "Jesus said to him, "but 70 times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents was brought before him. Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 

"At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!' Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him and forgave him the loan.
"But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him and said, "Pay what you owe!"*
"At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, 'Be patient with me and I will pay you back.' But he wasn't willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what he owed. When the other slaves^ saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened.
"Then, after he had summoned him, his master said, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn't you also have mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured ┬║ until he could pay what was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart."



 ^Gulp!

   How stingy are we! "As many as... seven times, Lord?" *pats self on shoulder*

   "Oh no, not that many times," replies Christ...

   "Infinitely more!" :D



Some notes on Matthew 18:21-35:

 *I just want to point out the possible irony of this slave's actions, besides that which is already apparent; that perhaps the first slave was wanting the money from the second one in order to unnecessarily pay back the debt which he has already been forgiven! Reminds me of us trying to regain our salvation by worthless works when we already have salvation through Christ! But of course, I'm only supposing...

 ^Here's looking at you to require accountability, fellow Christians, when you see a brother wrong another brother! Run and tell if you love your brethren.

 ┬║This happened to Christ, by the way, instead of us who are hidden in Him; because He alone could pay what we owed, He was handed over to the Roman jailers and torturers and to the wrath of Almighty God.




REPENTANCE AS PROOF OF SINCERITY

 Another point I would like to make is this:

   What quality do we grant to he who is first to change his future actions based on his past experiences (eg. the fruit of repentence)?????

   The humblest? The most loving? Maybe both, as dying to self often promotes love; as humility's only true motive can be out of love.

 Let's see how that looks on the list.


  The first to apologize is the bravest.

  The first to forgive is the strongest.

  The first to forget is the happiest.

  The first to change is the truest of heart.


Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control. Against such things there is no law. 





PURE MOTIVES IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE OF OURSELVES, BUT ONLY OF GOD!

Also, maybe we find it hard to have pure motives in our hearts, and so that is why we refrain from apologizing, forgiving, reconciling...

Isn't that rather a lame excuse?

    No worries, my friend, for if we keep the Lord's commands, He will bless us with a right spirit; and if we don't "feel it", know that God has fulfilled it where you lack it! His Spirit covers yours if you are covered by Christ!

From 1 John 3:15-24...

  Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence:
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. And this command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps God's commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.


   If God is in you, you should, you can, you will obey His commands for your relationships regardless of how you in all your mortal flesh feel about it. For it is not for you to fulfill all things but for Him!

  http://bible.cc/john/14-16.htm  < Here are a few really good verses about the Counselor, the Holy Spirit as regarding us, that I came across. JUST FOR FUN!




CHRIST AS THE EXAMPLE

 And in such view, may we together set our eyes upon Christ! That Son of Man and Son of God, whose act of giving up His WHOLE BODY AND SOUL TO UTTER DAMNATION was an act of ULTIMATE HUMILITY. That Christ Who therefore points to us that we likewise should be willing to give up all that which is of us and not of God, in all humility for obedience and fellowship's sake. That Christ, who:

1), had no need apologize for Himself, as He never sinned. But look at the verse below! He apologized on our behalf, as a priest and mediator! And I might add, while we meanwhile were (are!) heartlessly claiming and clamoring for our own rights over filthy rags, arguing among ourselves: "You did that, so..." or "I deserve this because..." and "You owe me since..."  Gambling on worldly reasons no better than chance.

 Luke 23:24 
Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they were are doing." And they divided His clothes and cast lots.


2), God forgave us, of course! His endless abounding mercy through salvation is only possible by the righteous death of Christ, because that righteousness which is Christ is even more endless. "There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us." God really went above and beyond in His removal of our trespasses, didn't He?

 Psalm 103:12 
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."


Finally 3), God forgets our treachery against Him, praises be!

 Hebrews 10:17 
He adds: I will never again remember their sins and lawless acts.

 God moves on, you see, when all is said and done. After all, in Christ's dying words: "It is finished!" 

 Jesus moved on, too, after He took on the extreme chastisement of brutal, shameful death on earth and a time in Hell: He moved on when He rose again in glory to reign at the Father's right hand. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit in all we do as we follow the example of Father and Son, to Whom be all credit and glory, into the very day we join Them there in Heaven.


Be brave. Be strong. Be happy. Be humble. Be loving. God in you, and you covered in God.

Repent, forgive and forget,



 Jessie ♥


(apology) (forgiveness) (70 x 70) (infinity) (wisdom) (moving on) = X
X = eternal joy and fellowship
















1 comment:

  1. great theme yes I agree thanx is very kind to share

    ReplyDelete