Godly Forgiveness – The Tie That Binds – My Daily Bread!
Our call to maintain the unity of the fellowship is found in Luke 6: 38, NIV, which reads:
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
While Christ was on earth He taught His disciples many things about how to attain to the Kingdom of Heaven. He gave many analogies and euphemisms to help express what it meant to follow God and keep the faith. On this day the lesson they received was about how to give. He took the opportunity to slip in a “do unto others as you would have them do to you” lesson around one of the hardest aspects of our Christianity – forgiveness. I think it would be fair to say that at some time or another we have all had a problem with forgiveness. It seems the hardest to do when we feel we were wronged and did nothing to deserve the injustice perpetrated on us at that moment. And don’t let it be something that a particular person has done over and over again. They can “forget about it”. But here Jesus simply said – measure out to others what we would like to have measured out to us if the tables were reversed.
Jesus was a master teacher and knew how to get His point across. He knew how to make something so hard to do seem like the only natural thing to do. It is funny how when we have wronged others we almost always expect others to automatically forgive us. Why is that? Well our high expectation of forgiveness for ourselves is usually related to the high opinion we have of ourselves. Have you ever noticed that our reasons for why we acted a certain way are always loftier and nobler than others reasons for acting the same way?
Or said another way, we judge others differently than we do ourselves for the exact same offenses and lapse of good judgment. We have an internal feel good switch that sits on the outer cortex of our brain that instantly says “you just messed up big time, but don’t worry about it, it’s all good, after all you did not mean it; you did not do it on purpose, they should understand and on and on it goes. Pretty soon we don’t even think we did anything wrong and start to question if we were done wrong! It’s human nature to excuse ourselves and accuse others. So it’s no wonder that Christ in the verse before this passage on measuring out forgiveness starts off by saying: “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6: 37, NIV)
A lack of forgiveness is almost always about measuring others in their offense instead of measuring in faith! But Jesus is challenging us to – measure out to others what we would like to have measured out to us if the tables were reversed. Jesus is talking about measuring in faith, measuring believing that God will weigh the motives of others hearts; we just need to focus on modeling His “running over” forgiveness and believe that He will manage the consequences: “Bear with each another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3: 13, NIV)
Saints, God wants us to be overflowing in giving forgiving to one another; for it is part of the ties that bind our unity, faith and peace in the fellowship of Christ. We must resist the tendency to be stingy with our forgiveness, always striving to give a good measure, certainly no less than what you would like to receive!
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