How often does God forgive us? Perhaps, not as often as we think. I can recall, when many churches used to post certain scriptures throughout the building. Many, even across the platform. It was especially true at conferences and other meetings; banners that stated various kinds of beliefs or inspiration. I can still see this one smaller church, when upon entering, there was a big banner across the front that read, “Great peace have they, which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” It brought your rapt attention.
It’s wonderful to talk about the love of Jesus, and all the things He has done for us. But, we too often don’t consider “all” of the things He said. For example, He spoke very clearly, that if when we stood to pray, if we had ought against someone, we should forgive them. And if we didn’t, our Father, which is in heaven, would not forgive us. Maybe, a banner at the front of the building or even in our many Sunday School rooms, would remind us of its importance. I don’t know, that we talked so much about this. Then, why not?
We often take for granted, that when we ask God to forgive us, He just does it automatically. He is a loving God, one that is full of true mercy and grace. Today, through His Son Jesus Christ, we have known, that all our sins, were placed upon Him to carry. We love to quote, and we should, the part that talks about all our sins being thrown into the sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered any more. Thank God, that this is true; however, there was a definite stipulation to that. It wasn’t done, unless we forgave others also.
Some things are hard to forgive. I always feel a question, when someone’s loved one has been taken in a useless or deliberate tragedy, and the person can say so soon after, I forgive them. The Grace of God is beyond anything we can even imagine, but it does not change the fact, that we are human; and it most often takes us awhile. But the crux of the matter here, is that we might truly have saved ourselves many years of pain and heartbreak, if we had remembered what Jesus said on this topic. Thinking we had been forgiven for our own trespasses, we carried our sins, for years.
I don’t wish to ask the Holy Spirit, to use me to bring His message or say things to others, that I do not first, apply to myself. If we do suffer enough, sooner or later, it dawns on us, to ask the Spirit to reveal, what it is all about. We finally become ready, to have Him show us, what is wrong with us, and to take a much closer look. I have known people, who carried their ‘oughts’ along with them, for years and years. They could recall the exact day, the year, the moment and location, of every slight that was ever done to them. I also observed, what a terrible impact this made on their bodies.
Jesus had a formula, for handling those who had done us wrong. It said, go to that person alone, just the two of you. We know the rest. There are many excuses for not confessing to one another in this hour; some are valid, and some are distractions we learned from others. Jesus and the Apostles, all said we should do it. If we give answers for not doing so, we’re proclaiming, that we do not love ourselves and others, as much as we declare. Point is, most of our hidden sin, eventually comes out anyway. We need to stop. If God really hasn’t forgiven us, our entire walk, is in question.
~ Robert Blackburn