Do you feel like you need an enlarged capacity for forgiveness?
When people can’t forgive, when they say things like, “this is unforgivable,” it means that they have sized up the gravity of the offenses, weighed them against their ability to love (or capacity for forgiveness), and they have been outweighed. It’s like trying to place a 100kg weight on a 10 year old. That child will be crushed completely under the weight!
When you feel like the hurt is more than you can handle, that the offense is unforgivable, it’s simply because your human capacity for love and forgiveness has been overrun! You can’t handle evil in your own human strength. It will overweigh and crush you every time. You need to switch over to God’s capacity to forbear and to forgive.
The Psalmist said He is compassionate and
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
(Psalm 86:15, NIV)
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
(Exodus 34:6-7, ESV)
With this mammoth and magnanimous and infinite capacity for love, there ain’t nothing too big to be forgiven. When you weigh the most grievous hurts and heinous offenses on the scale of God’s love, His love will hopelessly and endlessly outweigh them!
When the Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus with the woman caught in adultery, and suggested to atone her to death, it’s because their human, legal minds were outweighed by the offense of adultery. They didn’t know the depth of the Father’s love nor His depth of forgiveness. So they couldn’t extend the same to the woman.
For we can, as a law, only love as much as we know that we have been loved:
“We love because he first loved us”
(1John 4:19, NIV)
And we can only forgive as much as we know that we have been forgiven:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
One must experience unconditional LOVE, if one will be empowered to offer unconditional forgiveness!
The knowledge of one’s forgiveness is key to one’s attitude towards God, oneself and others!
For instance, take a look at what happened between Christ and these persons in the following discourse:
41 “A certain lender of money [at interest] had two debtors: one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 “When they had no means of paying, he freely forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?
43 “Simon answered, The one, I take it, for whom he forgave and cancelled more. And Jesus said to him, You have decided correctly.
47 “Therefore I tell you, her sins, many [as they are], are forgiven her—because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.”
(Luke 7:41-47, AMP)
Notice that this “sinner woman,” as she was called, somehow realized something,which the religious leaders didn’t know. When she saw Jesus, she was knew – may be from all she had heard about Him – that she had seen her Redeemer. She saw the One Who thought she was worthy dying for, One Who was willing to forgive her completely and never condemn her.
And the result was this, she poured out her life in acts of love for Him!
She washed Christ’s feet with her tears, and wiped them clean with her hair. She tenderly and caressingly kissed His feet again and again. She anointed His feet with a costly and rare perfume.
She did all these, not because she wanted to earn her forgiveness. No! She did all she did only because she knew that her sins, which were many were already laid on “the Lamb of God Who carried away the sins of the world.”
Our attitude towards God, ourselves and others is a reflection of the depth of our knowledge of the Father’s love and forgiveness for us.
When you find yourself struggling so much with forgiving offenses or extending unconditional love to others, it’s a pointer to the fact that you need to ingest more of the Father’s love for you. For you can, as a law, love only to the extent you yourself have received love!
May God’s love fill and overflow your heart and splash on those around you in lavish acts of forgiveness. In Jesus Name
A friendly reminder!
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