How much would it cost to pay the unforgiveness dept? For most people, the line keeps moving away from being paid in full. There are things we all need forgiveness for and one of them is the forgiveness of sin which can only be paid by the death of Jesus on the cross. God covers every angle of unforgiveness to where there is no excuse not to forgive others. Matter of fact, we are held in bondage when we withhold forgiveness and are bound in its chains.
Some people think that if they forgive the one who hurts them, it is saying to that person what they did was okay. That is not true. Some people have no problem forgiving others, but they can’t forgive themselves. As I was speaking these words in jail the ladies were quick to agree with this point.
I believe what happens in this area is that we think too highly of ourselves as if we would not have done such a thing. We put ourselves in the place of God when we don’t forgive ourselves. How arrogant is that? How is it that we can’t see our own selves as a person who commits sin? We are all capable of horrendous acts there’s no doubt about that. Our good friend, Brian Coatney says it best. “I would commit that sin and all sin, if God wasn’t keeping me, and I thank Him that He is keeping me.” Jude 24 says, “now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” That’s how I know I can forgive myself for stupid things I have done.
The other conflict we have with forgiveness is the verse we read right after the Lord’s Prayer, “but if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” found in Matt 6:15. Doesn’t this sound like it is based on your own merit? We are not in charge of our own salvation or our works of salvation. This is before the cross while Jesus was born under the law. Jesus is making it harder on us so that we will try harder. Why does He want us to try harder, it’s because we will fail at it and eventually reach out to Him who is the ONLY one who can save us. It’s His salvation because it was Him that died on the cross, was buried and raised from the dead. That’s why we can’t lose our salvation, because it’s not our salvation, it belongs to Him.
That is the same way with forgiveness. While Jesus was on the cross, He said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Later, Paul said, for us to forgive AS we have been forgiven. The way I see it, it’s not our forgiveness to keep, but to give away. We need forgiveness from God, He gave it to us, now, when others offend us, we give them the forgiveness that was given to us.
Once Tammy Strader sat down from giving the plan of salvation, a young woman motioned for me to come over to her. She had tears streaming down her face, as I handed her some tissue, she told me she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart and life. After she trusted Jesus for salvation, she stood up and told 36 other ladies what just happened inside her. The place went wild!!
I had so much fun hearing the word of their testimonies and didn’t leave the jail until 11:30. The three ladies I talked to in the law box each had an awesome story to tell about what is going on in their lives. One lady talked about praying for her husband who had been abusive to her but she still loves him. The second lady is getting out and going to Trilogy rehab for women. She is excited about her new life. The third woman is asking questions about the Bible and where to find answers to live the life of freedom in Christ.
Remember, the price has already been paid for our forgiveness of sin; the root of it was taking care of on the cross. Thank you, Jesus!!
Written by Tracey