Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Forgiveness

I did a dangerous thing this past week: I listened to this song on repeat. It is a beautiful song to me as it reminds me the cross has given me endless opportunities to repent and be given a "clean slate." God has used it to show me how my mistakes can be forgiven and I can live unashamedly in the love of Christ. But the thing about immersing yourself in the message of forgiveness is that you will tend to extend the gift to others without even realizing it.

That is what I did. After letting this song and the biblical truth it carries become such a big part of my life, I barely noticed myself giving yet another second chance to someone who had unintentionally hurt me deeply. The hope I felt when I let go of this person's past faults was encouraging and invigorating. That was until a tiny breach of trust in another relationship reminded me that second chances run the risk of getting hurt all over again.

I closed up almost instantly. "Oh no," I said to myself, "I will not trust you again, you didn't earn it and I don't want to risk the pain. You have run out of chances."


But, by doing this, I let forgiveness die in my life. Christ died so that I might be forgiven for the wrongdoings I did and have continued to do everyday. Yet He has not and will not disown me for my mistakes. He has forgiven my sins and made me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) even though I did not deserve it. Who am I to deny the forgiveness I have been granted to any one else (Matthew 6:14-15)? That would be assuming that I did deserve my salvation and forgiveness, which is simply not true.

So how many times must I be willing to forgive? Seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:22)! It seems I too am responsible for giving countless second chances at the cross...

But aren't there times when people are too toxic and prone to hurting you that they should be permanently removed from your life? Probably so. But more often than not we must simply trust God to protect our hearts from hurt and continue to love these people unconditionally. Protecting myself from hurt is no excuse to stop loving. It hurt Jesus in the worst possible way when He died on the cross, but it was the greatest story of love ever told. It is a case by case matter, but, in my case, I need to let this person back into my life. No matter how much it hurts, when it is unintentional there needs to be an abundance of grace.

God has a plan for every relationship-- good or bad-- and He can use people in our lives most effectively when we let go of the baggage and erase our records of wrongs. This leaves us extremely vulnerable, but a lot of the time this is exactly where God wants us because it is where we best see Him protecting our hearts and providing the best possible outcomes to draw us nearer to Him.


(Oh! And thanks Mom for providing the conversations to inspire these thoughts :)