There is a question that I have been asking myself these past few days. And it’s quite simple: “How many times has Jesus forgiven me?” Is it seventy times seven, just in the past months or for the last year?
Like many of us, we took a very long time and much effort, in washing the outside of the cup. It would surprise many folk, if they were to realize, that there have always been gifted people in the church. Just because of what many may have thought, they had shut off and suppressed these gifts, did not mean that the Spirit stopped operating through His chosen vessels.
Like it, accept it, or believe it, somebody with the eyes of the Spirit, could see through an outward shined cup, and see what was on the inside. What was thought hidden and well covered, was clearly seen by some.
Whitened sepulchers knew when such a person was in the midst, and it totally discomforted them. It still does. If we have truly been chosen and called of God, we will humble ourselves before Him, and stay there. If not, He will humble us Himself. That may be against many people’s belief system as they haven’t been there yet.
Maybe because I realize my weaknesses more than ever before, I began to think about how many times God has forgiven me.
Now that I am past sixty, a realization comes, much more clearly. Just how many times was it? With all of the wrong turns, bad choices and way too many failures, how could I dare to be self-righteous?
It is borderline insanity, to look down on others, considering the track record some of us have. Again, it might be about that shined-up of sorts on the outside and feeling that our inside sins, do not matter.
That big sins and little sins issue. Perhaps the denial, concerning that the heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked. Or by only a passing thought of what kind of death the untamed tongue can do. Or the failure to fully understand and live by, that there is only One who is truly good; and it’s not us.
The terrible hurt and the real destruction of those who are envious and jealous, cannot be told. It is an eye-opener, to grow enough to realize, that we ourselves have been that way too; more often than we could ever imagine.
One of the greatest revelations of my life came not long ago. For a long time, I had been rebuking certain attitudes and bad-spirited actions that I saw in someone else. I listed them. Envy, anger and rage, spite, bitterness, vengeance, excessive control issues and even more. I’d go through this whole list often; and God let me.
One day, as I started praying and binding, I slowly came to a stop. A vague recognition had been coming that, somehow, these things sounded a little bit too familiar to me. My eyes, slowly opened.
What did it cost to get there. How many trials, how much broken heartedness, suffering and pain, had to happen before I could finally see?
I had all of those things too. I was rebuking myself. But this time, self-righteous indignation did not rise up. Coming full face to the fact that God has not forgiven you for some things, is a life-changer.
The shock of discovering that, cannot be described. Because, there are truly those we thought we forgave, but we didn’t. The cost of humility. And all the things it takes to get there.
~ Robert Blackburn