Saturday, December 02, 2017

Forgive?



Forgive? Forgive, you say? Forgive?
Just how can I forgive?
I've suffered all this pain and loss.
I'm hurting. Aching. Cold at night,
Cold at heart and getting hard.
And yet, you say, forgive?

But, Lord, you're right. Of course you're right.
Through you I can forgive.
I've caused you pain. I've caused you loss.
I've sinned. Rebelled. Been cruel, cold
Stone-hard of heart through my own sin.
And yet you, Lord, forgive.

Forgive? Forgive. I do forgive!
Your love lets me forgive.
Yes, I've had pain and cruel loss.
I've hurt and ached and shivered cold,
But now my heart is tender, warm.
I'm ready. I forgive.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
--Colossians 3:12-14 ESV


I wrote this for a friend who's found it hard to forgive someone who broke sacred promises. Forgiveness is both a choice and a continuing process. Selfish anger or resentment or bitterness may pop into our minds and hearts again after we'd already tried to forgive. All we can do is to keep forgiving. Forgiving doesn't mean we deny the facts of the offense, but it means that we choose to no longer hold them as a weapon over the person who wounded us. We can do that because of the Lord's forgiveness of us, because of his Spirit within us, and because of Romans 8:28--"we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Forgiveness is not fully completed until the person who did the offense is willing to acknowledge it and to turn from it (if appropriate). Yet, by God's grace, we can complete our side of it by having a heart that's both willing and eager to forgive as we've been forgiven.  

No comments: