February 15, 2021 — Giving Our Forgiving

There’s only one thing more expensive than forgiving someone—and that’s NOT forgiving them.

The subject of forgiveness is so important I want to linger two minutes more on Genesis 4:13, where Cain says, “My iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven.” Listen in as I talk with a man who holds his wife responsible for the death of their daughter in an accident. “It’s unforgivable,” he says. “Oh, not unforgivable,” I reply softly. “Jesus said in Matthew 12:32 that only one sin is unpardonable; that’s the sin of saying No to the Holy Spirit when He offers you God’s pardon for all your sin.” “Who are you to tell me,” he retorts, “that I must forgive my wife?” “No, I didn’t say YOU should forgive her, just that whatever she’s done is forgivable. That’s why Jesus died at Calvary—so all our sins could be forgiven. No, it’s very unlikely you CAN forgive her—if you’ve never enjoyed the Lord’s forgiving love to you.” “What,” he asks sharply, “does God have to forgive ME for?” “Well, this is a touchy subject, so let’s talk about the crimes for which God forgave me! He said I was a thief, having robbed Him of what He deserved from my life. He said I was an adulterer for looking on a woman and lusting after her. He told me I was a murderer if I hated my brother, in fact, responsible for the death of Christ! ‘Guilty as charged, Your Honor,’ I said in my heart. And you know, He forgave me of them all! Oh the peace I had at that moment! And when you experience God’s forgiveness, though it’s not easy, you want to share His forgiveness with others.” Unforgiveness binds you to the circumstance you refuse to forgive. Oh, what chains are released when we accept God’s forgiveness, and learn to forgive others! So “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32).