When God Forgives, It Is More Lavishly Than Expected

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There was an occasion a few years ago when it came to my attention that my actions, though well intended, had offended caused an extended family member to respond in an extremely angry way.  

This loved one ignored my attempts for communication until I was finally able to faced them in an attempt to humble myself seeking their forgiveness. My desire to demonstrate kindness toward yet another family member had sparked a storm of anger, resentment and bitter words.

When I sought to apologize and make the relationship right, I received a contemptuous, red-faced reaction that caught me off guard with my loved one, a professing Christ Follower.  I don’t remember ever being spoken to with such malicious, anger and spewing of bitterness and rage.  

Nothing I said would diffuse the moment of intensity.  I begged forgiveness, but it was not extended.

While my heart was wounded and broken by the ordeal, I went before the Lord to seek His forgiveness for my wrongdoing.  According to His Word, He forgave me and assured me I had done what is taught in the Word and I felt no conviction in regard to the honest, integrity of kindness my heart feels toward each of my loved ones.  I was simply caught between a web of deceit, manipulation and pride between the other two.

God’s forgiveness is always lavish, full of mercy, love and grace.  

When God forgives, it is more than scraping up compassion from a place of disregard for us.  He is known for His great compassion and mercy and longs to show kindness toward us.  1First John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Psalm 103:12 reminds us he removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. Hebrews 8:13 states He remembers them no more.  What a God!

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Not only does He forgive, He does not hold a grudge or offense toward us.  He does not stay mad or keep us on the hook.  

When it comes to forgiveness, Psychology Today says:

 "...the nature of forgiveness is “Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat away at us.”https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/forgiveness

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I am thankful that God never has to “muster up the courage” to forgive.  He has already done the finished work of forgiveness at the cross.  It is simply ours for asking and receiving.

I had to choose to rest in His embrace of grace even when my loved one could not muster up the courage to let go of an offense, choosing instead to hold a grudge, pretending the angry, ugly encounter never happened.  

There is still an uncertainty in this relationship.  I am never sure of where I stand.  However, I am confident that I stand before God as His beloved daughter, fully loved, fully graced and forgiven.

Forgiveness doesn’t make what someone did to us OK. Forgiveness makes us OK and sets us free from the poison of bitterness.

RESPONSE:

Who is in need of your forgiveness today? 
Just as you have been forgiven, do the same, will you do the same?


This post is also featured at Ask God Today Ministries where you will find encouragement and truth for daily living.
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