“We forgive, because He forgave us.” What a load of crap.
Literally nothing in me wants to forgive someone when they cross me. Who do you think you are, going behind my back? Who do you think you are, eating the last krispy kreme donut in the break room? Frickin’ jerks.
As much as I like to say that I am a forgiving person, I’m not. Sometimes, I just want to sit on my self-made throne of hatred and anger. Sometimes I just want to wallow in self pity for a little while. Is that so wrong? Come on!
I actually googled the phrase, “we forgive, because he forgave us,” because I didn’t think it was actually in the Bible. I didn’t want it to be. I wanted that to be another ‘Merican Christian paraphrase. Here’s what it actually does say:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. [Ephesians 4:32]
This little verse is just a small piece of what is being said in Ephesians 4. It’s not about just doing certain things and saying certain things…it’s about being a certain thing. According to these verses, I am a new creation. I am dead to the ways that I once lived and I am alive in Christ. The old ways in which I walked are no longer keeping me captive. I am literally being called to live like Jesus now. He lives in me.
If I am being called to live like Jesus, then I am being called to forgive like Jesus. All of a sudden, forgiveness seems like an awesome gift to be able to give, instead of a burden and an obligation. What?! I get to do that? God gave me life through his forgiveness, and now I have the ability to forgive people too.
To be able to “forgive, because he forgave us,” is truly a blessing. And I didn’t realize it until I wrote this dumb little blog. Instead of being completely annoyed that God would expect me to forgive someone for hurting me, I can be excited at the opportunity to shed some Light in this dark, broken world.
I still harbor bitterness, though. I am still a human (surprise!). I’m not happy when people stab me in the back OR eat all of the snacks in the office break room, but I can see something greater through that. I can see an opportunity for the Gospel instead of an opportunity to get revenge. And that is so much sweeter, anyway. If only I could apply this to my life…that will be the challenge.
And yeah, I skipped church today.