Commentary By: Gordon King
Forgiveness, releasing the debt owed by another who caused harm or damage. This does not mean that we should forget what happened, but to render a debt paid in full! It also does not mean that there are not consequences for their actions, we all reap what we sow. However, we should forgive those who trespass against us, holding no ill will but rather having a heart of love and compassion. Isn’t this what Christ has done for us?
We all sin, and we have all had others trespass against us. The first thing we most often do is to hold it against the other person, having feelings of ill will and at times even vengeance! But the Lord says “Vengeance is mine”.
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.“
We are not to take wrath with those who trespass against us, for the Lord will repay, wrath belongs to God alone!
I don’t find it difficult to forgive someone of their wrong doing against me, however, it is difficult to look at them without seeing them in a different light. If that person repents and is truly sorry for what they have done then it becomes much easier to see the good in them, however, if you have forgiven them and they do not repent and see what they have done to you as being wrong, then it becomes much more difficult. However, God tells us to forgive whether they repent or not! To forgive and love them is grace, just as God has bestowed grace upon us. How many of us can truly say that we forgive and hold no ill will? That we don’t see these individuals differently then we did before? If we are honest with ourselves then I think that this would be true for most of us.
Jesus Christ came and paid our debt against God, He did this out of love, a gift which was given to us although we were undeserving and probably still are! Yet, after when we were saved He took our sins away and removed them from us as far as the East is from the West! Our Father in heaven sees our good not our sin, He sees us as He sees Christ. This is how we as believers should strive to be, Christ like in every way.
None of us are perfect, yet we should be learning and growing to be more and more like Christ. We need to forgive, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s for our own good! Unforgiveness leads to death, it brings about stress, illness, and depression, there is nothing good about unforgiveness. Forgiveness on the other hand releases not only the debtor but the victim. It is good, healthy, and promotes peace and life.
Loving those who come against you is a difficult thing to do, yet we are told by God to do so. Having compassion upon these individuals is something we must strive for as God has compassion for us. This is life, this is love, this is God!
This does not mean that we do not have the God-given right to defend ourselves, on the contrary, I believe that God wants us to defend what is good, righteous, and holy. And in our defense we can still find forgiveness! Yet these people will reap what they sow, and at times this may not be so pleasant. God has ordained life as holy, and those seeking to destroy life will suffer at the hands of the sword!
“But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.“
‘So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” ‘
This does not mean to never defend yourself, but not to seek the harm of others by the sword. The apostle Peter used his sword to attack the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear, Jesus then spoke these words. Why? I believe that it was not because Peter was acting in defense, but because Jesus had a mission to fulfill according to God’s will, His crucifixion, and Peter was acting against it.
God has forgiven us for all of our sins, we have been washed clean and are sinless in the eyes of the Lord. And although none of us deserve to have out debts paid God did it anyway, because He loves us!
God bless my friends! Maranatha!