Forgiving Hurts We Don’t Deserve
It is truly amazing how some people attempt to justify an angry, unforgiving heart. They may think, God knows what that person did to me, so He understands why I feel this way. Well, He certainly understands, but that doesn’t mean He approves.
Jesus faced appalling betrayal and abandonment, so He knows human emotions inside and out. Yet the Lord does not agree that we should feel justified about an unforgiving attitude. The Savior had a God-centered view of forgiveness that withstood the vilest torture. This is something we should thank God for every morning. Why? Because we are the ones who betray the Lord daily.
We have wronged Jesus in ways no one has ever wronged us. We’ve denied Him His rightful place in our lives. We have doubted His Word, ignored His instructions, and left Him out of our day-to-day lives. We’ve sinned against Him and shamed Him by sinning against others.
What is Jesus’ response to this abuse? “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Now, do you really believe He will justify your unforgiveness under any circumstances? No, He won’t.
When you look to God to excuse your unforgiving heart, you’ll hear Him answer, “Look at the cross.” There, you’ll discover the price that was paid for your own forgiveness. Colossians 3:13 spells out our solemn responsibility: “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (NIV, emphasis added). Just as we have been forgiven, so we must now become forgivers.
Yes You May, Forgiveness
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18
Earlier this year a man in Woodland, California, lost his wallet and decided it had been thrown in the trash. He climbed into a large garbage dumpster, but the sanitation truck came by while he searched through the debris. Hoisting up the dumpster, the truck poured the trash, including the man, into its giant interior and continued toward the landfill. It took a terrifying hour for the man to climb up through the debris and signal the sanitation engineers. He barely escaped being compacted.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I feel like garbage”? Sometimes we feel dirty, sinful, like a person in a dump truck. Isaiah 64:6 says, “We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags … our iniquities…have taken us away.”
But Isaiah also said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). The Lord offers complete forgiveness of all our garbage through Jesus Christ. And yes, you may receive it today.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe; now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. James L. Nicholson, in the hymn “Whiter Than Snow.”
Recommended Reading: Isaiah 1:16-20