This past week, and especially the past couple of days, I feel the Lord has put forgiveness on my heart and mind in a big way. I recently heard a song by Chris August, called "7x70," in which he talks about forgiving his parents for breaking their family apart. I have played it non-stop ever since I heard it! With that song consistently in my head, along with some other circumstances that occured this week, I have been thinking about forgiveness a lot this past week. I am always humbled by the passage in Colossions:
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive each other if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
"Forgive as the Lord forgave you." This never ceases to convict me. I have done worse things to God than anyone has ever done to me--I have sinned against a perfect, holy God, who sent His son to die in agony for me, to take upon himself the sins I committed, so that I may know God, and one day stand in His presence. In my wickedness, my voice has called out among the mockers, and I have heaped upon myself the just wrath of God. The absolute beauty of salvation is that I have been excused from God's wrath--because the price has been paid. In full. Jesus died an excruiating death, died in a way that each of us deserves, so that I might know God. I am loved unconditionally--when I continue to fall and sin, my salvation is still secure, my debt is still paid, and my sins are forgotten. I still stand before God white as snow, blameless, because the blood of Christ has washed me clean. The Lord has forgiven me of everything I did, and will do! So who am I to hold something against someone? My place is not to judge. That's God's job. In light of the Lord's forgiveness of me, why shouldn't I extend the same to others? In light of eternity, who am I to waste my time holding a grudge, when I need to be glorifying God with my thoughts, actions, words, and intentions? In heaven, these things won't matter. Forgiveness is so much sweeter than holding a grudge, or a mistake over someone. There are so many things that God could hold over me, yet he doesn't. And that is worth praising God about!