*Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)-"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
What does this mean to you? Is that as hard a concept for you to grasp as it is for me? I think God means something completely different about forgiveness than we comprehend. And that is NOT an excuse for us not to forgive those we come into contact with daily.
To me, forgiveness means to give up.
It means to give up my right to hold on to this angry little ball of fire and hate and discontent because of something you said/did/do that makes me so dad-blamed mad! It means that I have no right to take revenge on you. None, nada, zip.
It means that I have to have compassion on you and love you. I may not LIKE you as a person, but I have to love you as God loves you. That's what forgiveness means to me. It means giving up my rights for the sake of the One who gave up His rights for me.
It means getting off my high horse.
Think about that person who, when they walk in the room, you immediately start scoping out the exits and planning out your strategy should you have to face them. Imagine all the fear and dread that comes into mind when you see them. Imagine that person (and for some of you, I acknowledge, it could be me. I'm okay with that; I love you anyway!) and all the accompanying feelings that come attached to his/her presence.
Now, ask yourself: Who died and made you God?
Don't lie....you thought about it. Some may try and be indignant and say, "But you don't understand, Bo! This person did the most mean, low-down, dirty...."
Did that person take a tool and a spike and nail up God in human flesh on a cross? Did that person stand by and heckle Him as He bled to death so that the gap between God and us could be bridged? Did that person do something so heinous to you that you want them to be apart from God forever?
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be sin for us on the cross. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, we have been granted the favor of being able to boldly stand at the throne of God and find His mercy.
"Well, I don't want them to be separated from God, Bo. I just want them to feel a little of how I felt when they hurt me."
Oh, I see. What about you? How about the people YOU step on to get your way? How about the people YOU hurt in everyday life? Would YOU want your co-workers to pray that prayer about you? Would you want that boss you disrespect to feel that way? How about your children or even your spouse?
What if we didn't place ourselves at the center of the Universe, and left that spot to the One who already occupies it? What if we placed ourselves on the other side of the coin, so to speak? What if we remembered that we are not the only ones who get hurt or angry?
What if we just decided to forgive and let it go?
I admit freely that I messed up this past week with a co-worker. I'm openly and freely acknowledging that I lost my cool and kinda blamed God and asked why she had to intrude on my life. And He reminded me that I needed to learn compassion for all His children, not just the ones I like to hang around. He reminded me that Jesus came to the ones no one else wanted. He came to heal the hurting and the bruised. And He did it for me. And now, my responsibility is to pay it forward.
I need to apologize. I need to allow God to forgive me, and then I need to forgive that person. And I need to have compassion and love.
In the end, that's all that separates those who claim to know and love God, from those who don't.
Be blessed in the Lord today.