The Art of Forgiving
The message of the cross was clear and obvious, a love without reservation for you and me; a love with no other motivation but to equip us without reservation. In order for this love to be magnified in such magnitude and be transmitted from generation to generation it had to vividly express itself through FORGIVENESS.
[pullquote1 align=”left” variation=”red”]Forgiveness does not come from the outside but comes from within, your inner being; it is the Holy Spirit who operates in you to correct and teach you. [/pullquote1]He will teach you the very truth that Jesus modeled while on Earth, going all the way to the cross so that he may express, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”
Let us analyze Jesus’ character; although he was human, he was able to manifest the grace of forgiveness. 1 Peter 2:21-23 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (NIV)
* Jesus was compassionate of the offender:
Compassion: Means forcing oneself to the see aggressor as a person, trying to understand what drove them to cause harm. This does not mean that we can feel superior or with the right to judge and find fault, because we would then fall into a vicious cycle. The more you understand the aggressor the easier it will be to forgive.
* Manifested a Humble Spirit:
Humility: It is necessary to remove the pride that acts as a barrier before giving forgiveness. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8 (NIV) Forgiveness is not to say that the offender was right but to say that God is just and will do what is right. “… When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)
* He Surrendered the Offense to His Heavenly Father:
Surrender: When you surrender your inner pain to God; you are surrendering anything you have in your heart against your aggressor. “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34 (NIV)
Jesus forgave them, looking beyond their heinous crime to see the ignorance of mindless fear and blind hatred, that drove them to act in a certain way. Jesus looked at the true condition of his enemies and felt compassion for the men that were mere slaves of Rome. We must imitate Jesus; he gave up his right to take revenge and trusted His Father as to what would happen, ” Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:46 (NIV)
This act of love and forgiveness was so great it divided the history of humanity into “before Christ” and “after Christ.” Likewise, the day in which you accepted Him as your only and exclusive savior, the history of your life also instantaneously changed into a “before” and an “after” that great forgiveness was granted to you. According to how you received, give so that your sins are forgiven. Say this simple prayer with me:
Father in Jesus’ name, your son, I pray in accordance with your word in Matthew 16:12-13, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (NIV)