Forgiving time after time
Every business has a primary focus. Pick ’n Pay sells food, McDonalds sells burgers, Edgars’ focuses on clothes, and if you’re building, Builders Warehouse is the one stop shop for building items. All businesses focus on a primary function and have a bunch of secondary functions to help them perform the primary function well.
What do you think is God’s primary function? What does God do best? Looking at God’s actions what stand out? Even more difficult: Give one word to describe what God is about, what He is made of, what the focus is of His existence.
Each of us may have a different word to describe God, but for me it’s all about love. God is driven, no forced, by His love for mankind that He has no alternative but to shower His love on human beings. I imagine that if God had other friends and He told them about his plan to get a nation for Himself that He could love they would’ve laughed at Him. They would’ve warned Him that He would burn his fingers with this one! I wonder whether they would’ve laughed or whether they would’ve walked away if He told them about his plan to send his Son Jesus to earth for the sake of a bunch of sinful people, and that there was a chance that they would nail Him to a cross.
God’s central point, what His life is all about, what He is made of, the reason for His existence, His primary focal point, is love. God cannot but shower you and me with love. He simply has to do it. God has so much love that He has to pass it on to us. However, God’s love is not just an emotion. His love becomes visible. You can personally experience God’s love by what He does for you. One of the first things we experience is His forgiveness.
On my own I would never have been able to forgive someone who makes the same mistake again and again. But God does it again and again. When I say the wrong word, when I do something wrong, or not do what I should be doing, God forgives me again and again. Because God’s primary functions works in overtime! His love comes again and again. If there is love, its outward form is in acts like forgiveness.
Because we are God’s children, it is necessarily also one of our characteristics: Love one another. Amongst others, this becomes visible by forgiving other people. But wow, is this not always the first barrier tripping us up? Why is it so difficult to forgive other people? Why can’t I simply decide to let bygones be bygones? Do I do it because I can’t allow others to make mistakes as well? Do I do it to make me feel better than the other person? Or do I do it to get back at the other person for the pain that person caused me?
I don’t always understand the own self. What I do understand, however, which is a more or less logical conclusion, is that if I don’t forgive, God’s love does not appear in me. If I repeatedly take the other person back to his mistake, God’s primary purpose in me is dead. When I don’t forgive, God’s light is not burning and I’m building the dark and playing in the opposing team. 11The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways!
This is one of Satan’s trump cards. He knows people are not good at this. But God still remains bigger, even though we fail, again and again, and even if we cannot forgive people, He forgives us again and again and again, because His primary focus is love, which can be seen in forgiveness.
Who do you have to forgive?
Is there someone you still have to forgive?
Are you prepared to obey God’s answer if He leads you through his Spirit?
Do you believe that God will help you to make the right choice?
Father, I have heard such a lot about forgiveness. I know You are talking to me. Please help me shift the own self to the side. Please help me to first think about others like You do. Please help me to forgive the way that You forgive me every day. Amen