Saturday, May 4, 2013

70 x 7 or 6 to 4

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” 
― Mark Twain


For many, forgiveness is an elusive road to true freedom. We know it's right. We know it's necessary. But when push comes to shove, we often balk at the opportunity to let go. Whether the intense gravity of hopelessness or a deep thirst for vendetta, the excuses are seemingly endless as to why we hold on to grudges. How ironic it is to buy a conquering love, but sell one of its most essential counterparts: forgiving one another.

The reason why forgiveness can be so difficult is due to the combined weight of adamant shame and entitlement. Any lack of release preserves a self-centered focus with attention rooted in the past. Yet, the whole point of forgiveness is to expand the effect of grace into the future. Human revenge may be instinct, but it's still evil. When you lose the desire for control, you'll find the best way to "get back" at those who have wronged you is to always forgive them.

When Jesus encourages Peter to forgive 70 x 7 times, this actually traces back to Daniel 9:24-25:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

Think about it. Forgiveness is not just an end-all solution to conflict, but it's the beginning of restoration...of redemptive freedom! In addition, forgiveness is the mediate transaction that replaces anger and resentment with humility and grace. In other words, it does more than settle the score, but also gives supreme glory to God! Why? Because we are doing the same thing He does to us on a daily basis. Instead of perpetuating the cycle of revenge through misconstrued justice, why not bless both God and man through the application of genuine forgiveness, which in turn, ignites a new cycle of righteousness and honors the Lord?

True, forgiveness may seem like it will hurt in the moment. But when we cut ties with this type of present anxiety, what we're essentially doing is negating its influence over future freedom!

How cool is that? 

So embrace the call to forgive, doing so with a joyful spirit. 

You'll be amazed at the steps you take towards a more w-holy-stic lifestyle.

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