Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Cost of Forgiveness

As Christians, we are aware of the need for forgiveness—both to give it and to receive it. It is the very essence of our faith. And we hold it up as a beautiful picture of the closest thing to God on earth. We love to hear the stories of the family that forgives their daughter’s murderer or the wife that forgives her husband’s infidelity. These are good and noble pictures. Ideals that we all should seek to attain. And there is indeed freedom for the forgiver as much as the forgiven. Freedom from the bonds of anger and bitterness and sometimes, even the need for vengeance.
            But forgiveness costs something. It costs allowing the injury that we have received to be healed by someone other than the injurer. It costs setting aside any claim that we might have to being right. Sometimes it costs knowing that the person who injured us will never know what it costs us to forgive, or even care that we have forgiven, or even realize that they have caused an injury. It costs in a heart submitted to the process, knowing that there are stages of grief and mercy to work through. 
            And yet, isn’t that the very picture of Christ on the cross? Forgiving those who injured his heart and his flesh without any expectation of their acknowledging what they had done? He knew that forgiveness was necessary and went about doing it, though it cost him dearly, sacrificing his right to be right, to expect apology, and to submit to the process of dying to self. The very model of forgiveness.
            Is there someone that you need to forgive?   

Colossians 3:12-13 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you do also."

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