Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ 2 Cor. 5:17
That scripture is how I knew I was a Christ-follower. In the months after I whispered, “God, I believe in you, your son, your word, and everything in it,” a number of “old things” in my life passed away. Things like my extremely naughty potty-mouth and my belief that my way was always the best way.
Another old thing that disappeared was my aversion to forgiveness. For more than thirty years, though I had pain, a lifetime of it, mostly inflicted by people close to me, I had no desire to stop my hurting or my obsessive blaming. From time to time I pondered if and when I might forgive the folks who trespassed against me. Maybe I’d do it when I was on my deathbed. Perhaps I’d forgive them when they were on theirs. I wanted these people to have years, decades, to regret their offenses against me.
But Jesus, desiring his father’s best for me, took me by the heart and said, “Pause. You’re headed in the wrong direction. Turn and go this way instead. Here, I’ll walk with you.”
I believed him, really, I did. And yet, I resisted. I wanted God to prove it—the forgiveness thing. One morning I laid my hand on my brand-new Bible and prayed, “Lord, if you really want me to forgive, show me in your word. In the New and the Old Testaments.” And he did. It took over a year to read through the full counsel of God, but when I was finished, a small strip of paper marked each scripture regarding forgiveness.
Then, stubborn woman that I am, I asked God to reveal to me, in the context of my life, how he felt about forgiveness. The following Sunday in church, our pastor read scriptures like, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” and “‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Finally, I believed in the importance of forgiveness and went to work accomplishing it. Only then, did the hurts in my heart begin to wane.
Never doubt that God desires forgiveness for all the right reasons. His word proves it and so does his willingness to go to the cross. @Grace_and_Such
Never doubt that God desires forgiveness for all the right reasons. His word proves it and so does his willingness to go to the cross. Still, if like me, you have questions, ask him. I know he’ll answer—in his word, and in your life.