February 15, 2015

It is a tricky thing to be in a position of one who needs to forgive.  Now I cannot speculate on the percentage of times that I am willing to forgive and when I am not, but I would guess that I am willing to forgive more than I am not.  But forgiveness cannot be given until it has been asked for.  I cannot give forgiveness to a person who should receive it from me until they come to me and ask for it.  It would be backwards for me to go to the person and tell them I forgive them without them telling me that they were sorry for what they did.  The order I recall is contriteness first then forgiveness.  This does not mean that the willingness to forgive isn’t present until it is sought.  It just means that it is not given until it is asked for.

The forgiveness from our Heavenly Father is a little different.  He has forgiven us since the beginning of time.  This is something we have difficulty comprehending because we are restricted within the confines of time.  God is not.  But we are not forgiven, do not experience forgiveness until we come to Him, with a broken and contrite heart and confess our sins and repent of them.  We do not receive forgiveness until we say and mean we are sorry.  He does not give to us His love and grace until He has given to us His forgiveness.

It is not a contest of wills.  The offender seeks forgiveness from the offended.  The Father offered up His Son as a sacrifice for our sins, as a conduit for His forgiveness to be received by us.  This is something that has been true before Jesus’ birth and after His death.  The OT saints looked forward to His coming and we look back to His death and rebirth.  Through this sacrifice we are forgiven, through the Lamb who was slain since before the foundation of the creation was laid.

Forgiveness does not come until we seek it and it only come to those who believe in the Son.  All who are born and live and die have been forgiven of their sins.  He won’t lecture us or belittle us or make us feel sorry that we repented in the first place.  He has forgiven us but we must first repent before we can experience what it means to be truly and fully forgiven.

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