Not only does forgiveness cover past transgressions, but forgiveness is also one of God’s great power sources. It is an effective weapon against the plans of the enemy who ceaselessly attempts to separate us from the Father. Walking in forgiveness produces life, love, and freedom. His forgiveness is without prejudice and reinstates relationship without a list of unreasonable weights and unjustified demands.
When God sees a right and renewed heart, one which trusts in Him, He responds with trust. He does not respond with suspicion, unfairness, or unfounded penance. He does not shackle us with unreasonable burdens or place unloving and dry religious conditions upon us. In fact, you can usually recognize the forgiveness of God because it instills within the soul an indefinable freedom while removing condemnation and depositing a resolute desire to serve its liberator.
The world, on the other hand, tells us not to forgive, but instead to strike back, attempt to inflict harm, and demand repayment for wrongs and injustices. Is that what Jesus taught? Is that the example he displayed on earth?
The more I have tried to understand the power and depth of forgiveness, the more I realize the profound beauty of its divine design. I appreciate the benefits of its application and try to be a giver and distributor of this valuable and powerful commodity. Genuine forgiveness, the forgiveness extended to us by God and required by Him for us to extend to others, is a choice to make and a principle to follow if we are to live Christ-like lives.
(Part 4 coming up soon)
(The “Living the Lord’s Prayer” blog series is based on Craig’s book, The Vigil, available at village2village.co. Proceeds will support mission work around the world.)