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Archive for October 30th, 2018

IMG_4461 (1)When one is convicted by God, it is clear … unless you feel really uncomfortable with the lesson God has for you, then the instinct to flee and forget is greatest.

Such was the case when God was stalking me, prodding me to immerse myself into understanding forgiveness.

The first biblical reference that came to mind was from Luke 23:40, when Jesus was hanging on the cross and he cried out:

“Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing” 

But what if they do know what they are doing/have done?

This is the verse that is reminded to people when the their injury is still bleeding. Can forgiveness happen before the full weight of the trauma is felt? Can one forgive before the one who did the injury feels the weight of their actions?

Then there is the story of Joseph in the Old Testament (Genesis 37, 39-48). Our favoured boy in the coat of many colours, attacked, then sold by his brothers into slavery. After years of slavery, he became favoured by Pharaoh, a man with a position and power. Then, during a famine ‘chance’ gave them opportunity to reunite (unbeknownst to the brothers). And Joseph forgave them … NOT! Joseph played head games with them, putting them in prison, asking if they had any brothers at home, then having them leave Simon as a prisoner until their return with Benjamin. Placing their payment for grain, a silver cup in their sacks, to test their honesty. It wasn’t until he heard them speaking in Hebrew, saying, “now we must give an accounting for his (Joseph’s) blood” (42:22), that he knew they were repentant … then he forgave.

What? I have always been taught that we forgive regardless of the repentance of the one who wronged us!

Within the story of Joseph is a fascinating tidbit about how Joseph dealt with the sins committed against him by his brothers:

“Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household” (Genesis 41: 51). What?! God made him forget what was done to him? But he never forgave them. I have always been told that forgiveness is for the victim, the one who is wronged … that we forgive so that we might have peace. It would seem that Joseph had peace simply by God granting him amnesia over the events that had been done.

Within the Lord’s prayer we hear the words, And forgive us our debts/transgressions/sins, as we also have forgiven our debtors/transgressors/sinners” (Matthew 6:12). But, does that only qualify if what someone else did to us was an actual sin? What if they said something thoughtless or mean-spirited? Is that forgivable? Does God only forgive us inasmuch as we have forgiven others?

So many questions!

Since I started immersing myself into the topic of forgiveness I have found myself with far more questions than answers. I find that much more of my understanding of the topic of forgiveness has to do with psychology, song lyrics and cliches than that of biblical instruction and application. I know there must be more to this topic and I am determined to unearth it.

So, for the next few weeks I am planning on spending my blog-writing time (basically every spare, waking moment) immersing myself in what it is to forgive. There will still be posts rolling out on this site … reposts of blogs posts of the past seven years.

Forgive my absence 😉

 

 

 

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