Occasionally we all have to deal with ugly things, and I encountered one of those things...i'll just call it drama for now. In order to deal with my own issues of forgiveness, I worked my way through these thoughts.

Forgiveness is very difficult in this society and time in human history. We inherently are much more concerned about ourselves and our own feelings…or what we deserve…or bla, bla, bla…me, me, me. It’s true. But once in a while we come up with the bold and honorable plan to be bigger than the other person and forgive and forget. We forgive and move on and feel that we did the right thing. We were the bigger person. This made me think about what this means.

Pondering such lofty thoughts can be dangerous to your health. It may even cause you to lose your life. Lose it to gain it again.

Why are we bigger than the other person when we forgive? I’m convinced of this: He who is in us (God in the form of the Holy Spirit) is greater than he who is in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4) and we can be bigger than others in the ensuing drama because we have the power of God in us and we will overcome it all! This is so encouraging. If you believe in the one true God of the univers - the God of the Bible - then you are not of this world and are not bound by the chains of un-forgiveness and selfishness. We can actually be different…be bigger.

Better yet, logically we must forgive others because we have been forgiven. Not only are we forgiven but we are forgiven by an infinitely valuable and perfectly sinless God. If He can forgive us of much more heinous and ugly sins against him - who is an infinitely greater and more powerful being - can’t we forgive another hopeless fallen sinner? We are all in this together. (Luke 6:27-38, Matthew 18:22-35)

Ok, so I can forgive them of this or forgive them of that but isn't this is the real world with bad people? How many times are we to let them “wrong” us before enough is enough? Jesus tells Peter that we are to forgive seventy times seven…not a literal 77 times, but over, and over, and over again with true forgiveness each and every time! The point under the logical argument behind “forgive as you have been forgiven” means that you must continue forgiving indefinitely because that is what God does with us. (Matthew 18:22) Obviously, Godi s infinitely more forgiving and infinitely more patient then we are as well. We should thank God daily that He isn’t like us.

But why? Why do we care? Are we to let everyone sin against us and treat us poorly without recourse? No revenge? (his is a dangerous topic for another day) No paybacks? Why forgive indefinitely? The apostle Paul drops a bombshell with this one from the book of Romans 8:28-30:

"All things work together for good in the lives of those who love God and who are called his purpose which he predestined to conform to his image."

So, if we love God and are called by him to his purpose, we are predestined to conform to his image, which can be defined by infinite love and infinite forgiveness. When we actually conform to his image God is glorified! When we forgive, we are conforming to Christ’s image! We end up glorifing God and we point others to him. How amazing. We know that we can not forgive through our own earthly and selfish hearts. We have to desire something more and something supernatural. We need something bigger than us in our hearts. Our forgiveness of those who sin against us actually shines a light on God because he is the one working through us! I can do all things through him who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13).

Praise God for his word and for using silly little things to reveal the great spiritual secrets of the universe. Do we have people in our lives to forgive? If so, let’s do it today.

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