Monday, March 15, 2010

Forgiveness DNA the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Colossians 3:13b

There have been individuals in my life whom I have found almost impossible to forgive. As much as I hate to admit it, that is the gospel truth! There have been lies told about me as well as harsh words, condescension, insults, and rebuke. Through the years, I have been given numerous opportunities to learn the lesson of forgiveness and I have yet to find it an easy discipline.

Jesus addressed the need for forgiveness, even at his death, Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34). Forgiveness is an absolute when it comes to following Jesus. He sets the bar high! Jesus didn’t hold close the repeated hurts, rejections, betrayals that were hurdled at him. Even knowing the outcome, he kept Judas on as a disciple, never wavered with Peter, and had compassion for the uppity desires of James and John. Forgiveness was a part of Jesus’ DNA.

If Jesus forgave so freely, why do I find forgiveness so difficult? Because it requires admitting that my own actions, choices, and responses need forgiveness. It requires that I look inward. Upon discovering that my emotional DNA is lacking, I discover that I don’t like what I see. Forgiving the individual who has caused so much hurt is to acknowledge that, in the eyes of Jesus, there is no difference between us. To forgive is to acknowledge my own need for forgiveness.

It is this that makes forgiving so difficult. But in forgiving, I begin to understand and accept the generous forgiveness that Jesus has given me.

Jesus, thank you for instinctively forgiving me.
I need a forgiving "second" nature. I’ve been hurt
but help me to be like You, not holding on but forgiving
in the same way I have been forgiven.

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