After a certain point of being a Christian, I’ve come to this point where I realize that I have compassion and extra room to forgive that I don’t think many others have.
It’s not like they don’t have access to it, through Christ. Maybe they don’t want to claim it. More like, they don’t want to allow forgiveness to cost them anything. Snap your fingers and a miracle solution.
Or better yet, they aren’t sure they’ll actually gain anything by allowing others mercy. Shouldn’t we all have to reckon with what we’ve done? Shouldn’t they have to be shamed in public, and be scalped, flogged, and broken for my vindication?
Doesn’t everyone see how holy and I righteous I am? Shouldn’t we all acknowledge that I was right?
Help us Lord to realize your love has nothing to do with us. With forgiveness, what does it actually cost to free us of our debts? Do I really believe what I espouse as theology? Could Christ’s sacrifice be enough for me to forgive my family, not just in part, but for everything?
I don’t believe God’s solution ignored the problem. I believe that God’s discipline and just decrees always came from a sense of love. Could he forsake what he commanded us to do, and the stipulations of the covenant he himself drafted? The Lord does not deny himself.
So yes, God cares. Yes, God loves. Will God make himself unrighteous? Hell no. He made himself the compensation for what we could not be, and as a Savior, bridged the gap between God’s mercy and his perfect justice.
Is it just that the Son of God had to die? Is that fairness?
I think that probably, God loved us all enough to sacrifice part of himself, because he knew we wouldn’t make it. I think that he was willing to give himself up, and continually chose that through the life of Christ. I believe that he never lied, never misrepresented the truth, that he’s always known all things, always had all power, always understood perfect provision, and in the Trinity with Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, always received and poured out love perfectly.
Stepping into the earth and the specific time and space where we are, to save a people who desperately needed their Creator’s intervention, who on their own could not make up the cost.
So when I have the choice between lukewarm love or forgiveness? What do I chose?
I choose wanting better, and striving towards better, even when in my own strength, I cannot achieve it.
I choose a God who was perfectly confident in his own strength and his perfect deity, and intentionally chose to die. And who thought we were worth it.
I choose not having all the answers. I choose the possibility of losing friends.
I choose following the call when it’s inconvenient. I choose giving what “I have” and what “I own”, for his purpose, realizing that the love of the Father chooses me instead. I choose knowing his perfection. I choose allowing him to love me and accepting what that’s worth. For the things I can’t have or I will sacrifice, I count those things as loss. For the righteousness I crave but I know doesn’t belong to me, I directly seek the face of God.
I will not seek his back, or his hand, or a shallow understanding of his name. In an age where God is a tool of politics, I will not take the Lord’s name in vain.
I believe in an Almighty God, I believe he put his purpose through me, and I believe that my life has a reason. It is a privilege to live loved by God. Even when his people scatter like sheep and I am one of few willing to put on boldness, I know what I believe.
I believe that the love and discipline of the Lord are not antithetical, that they go hand in hand, and they BOTH demonstrate his love for me. I am not content with doing whatever it is I want. I know the Lord knows what’s best for me.
I believe that the Lord has given me the strength from his provision to forgive my family. Not to ignore debts, but to make a complete and miraculously full work of declaring any debts useless. Unnecessary. Forgiven.
If the love of God can do all that for me, and allows me to put on his strength, and helps me re-understand family, he alone is perfect. He teaches me things I have never known, and helps me understand things I have never seen, and strengthens me into boldness. This is why I was created. I’m not going to be ashamed of his purpose for my life.
I don’t think that it’s about whether or not God gives me a time or place to use these gifts. I believe he calls us to be ready all of the time, in all places. He isn’t training me up for some miraculous path. He continuously calls me to testify and to glorify his name, and he adds details and nuance as he part of his provision. My job to serve the will of the Lord. He chooses how he makes a way for that. My job never changes.
It isn’t for me to define how I want to serve. The Lord gives us opportunities, and we choose or deny obedience. This portion isn’t special. It’s freely given, and unlike God’s love for each of us, the work he has for us to do can be given away. Who carries out the plan is inconsequential. Therefore, it is our desire and responsibility to be willing to serve. Far be it from me to define how the Lord wants to use my weakness. This is not about me.
And so when the Lord says, “forgive”, I will try to respond with forgiveness. And I will pray and seek his insight about how to do it. I do not have the strength on my own. But I know that the Lord makes a way for all of us to love him. He doesn’t ask me to do it on my own. He is willing to be that source of provision.
Ultimately, this love story begins and ends with the Lord. My biggest hope is to allow myself to be wrapped up in it. When anybody asks, I’m calling it good.