“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C.S. Lewis
I meet people every day. Very often I realize that they struggle with the capacity to forgive.
“Forgiveness is hard”. “I cannot forgive him”. “Fabio, if you know what she did against me, you would agree with me”. These are some of the phrases I hear over and over…
” I cannot forgive my brother, he was very mean to me.” “I cannot forgive my partner – he took my business and stole my idea and project”.
“I cannot. It is impossible”.
“I will never forget. I will never forgive”.
We all make mistakes. We make mistakes daily. We need to receive forgiveness on a daily basis for some reason or other.
It is an ordinary and daily action to make mistakes. So, why do we all make the action of forgiving an extraordinary effort?
Why do we all make the act of forgiveness so complicated?
I expect forgiveness from my parents if I come back home late. I expect forgiveness from my boss and colleagues if I miss the cutoff time and do not process their ACH Payroll.
I expect forgiveness from my girlfriend if I forget her birthday. I expect forgiveness from my husband if I forget our wedding anniversary.
We ask God to forgive us every day.
Or am I the only one who makes mistakes every day?
Do not tell me it is only me. I know you are exactly like me!
When I do not forgive I become a hostage of my aggressor and abuser. When I do not forgive I am choosing this eternal kidnapping for my soul. When I do not forgive I get crystalized in my past. I do not move on. I do not move forward.
When I do not forgive I repeat the scenes of my painful episode constantly over and over. I get stuck in this existing train station of my life and go nowhere. When I do not forgive I live in this existential torture in my own isolating world. When I do not forgive I become a bitter and angry person with psycho-somatic symptoms, eventually accumulating gastritis or ulcers in my stomach, or harvesting a skin cancer or migraine in the future as the fruit and result of my choice to not forgive.
I am the only one who loses in this game.
Forgiveness is an individual and personal journey.
Forgiveness is a decision!
It is a choice. It is not a feeling.
Forgiveness is an ordinary action, but when I take this step of courage and forgive, I make the forgiveness be an extraordinary way of living life.
The extra-ordinary power of forgiveness!
It is ordinary because is simple. It is ordinary because my mistake is ordinary. It is ordinary because my faults are daily. It is ordinary because it is exactly what I expect and need from others. But it is also extraordinary because is the result of God’s grace in me. It is the result of God’s love for me. It is the result of the One who forgave me of what was unforgivable!
My sin was unforgivable!
It was inexcusable!
This is what Paul said “He forgave us all our sins…”
He forgave us ALL!
ALL means ALL in Greek, Latin or Hebrew.
Sins of the past, present and future!
“…having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross”.
It is already paid.
It is accomplished.
It is finished!
He died without sin.
He died between two murderers.
He forgave without committing any crime to teach you and I to say “Forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”
This is the extra-ordinary power of forgiveness!
Once Jesus told his disciples the parable of the unforgiving debtor.
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.”
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him. ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all’. Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.”
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.”
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it’, he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.”
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.”
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
Jesus is teaching a very simple lesson – the debt that I had with God was, is and will always be infinitely bigger than the debt that anyone else may have with me.
That is why Jesus forgave me in order to teach you and I to pray “Forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”