Friday, May 28, 2010

EMMDEV 2010-05-28 [Seven Laws of Spiritual Success] Forgiveness: As we forgive

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Here's a profoundly uncomfortable truth and principle:
Our experience of being forgiven by God and our track-record with regard to forgiving others are linked.
It always remains true that Christ's death is sufficient to forgive all sins. There is no question about His ability to forgive and wash away our sins. Jesus died to pay the price of your and my sin, past, present and future.
But what good is a gift of a billion rand if it is in my bank account and I never withdraw a cent?
If I have a deep sense of forgiven-ness, it is a deep well that I can draw from and I can offer some of that living water to those around me. If I am unwilling or unable to forgive, then the implication is that my well has a locked lid on it and even I can't drink from it.
Understand the principle: we don't forgive others to earn forgiveness - that would be the cart before the horse - we forgive others because we ourselves have been forgiven.
This is the point of the parable about the slave who was pardoned a huge debt by the king and was thrown into prison when he would not forgive a tiny debt incurred by another slave.
If we are UNABLE to forgive, it is because we have not completely understood how great a debt God has released us from.
If we are UNWILLING to forgive, it is because we have hardened our hearts to the reality of our own sin and the grace that sets us free.
In short, complete forgiveness is available to us in Christ, but if we have not fully embraced and connected to that forgiveness it manifests in us being unwilling or unable to forgive. Not forgiving others is a _symptom_ of not connecting to and experiencing God's forgiveness.
Theo Groeneveld
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