One of humanity’s most common attributes is our need for forgiveness. We cannot escape the obvious nature of life which puts us in a position of being failures from time to time. Whether our transgressions are purposeful or accidental, we all fail at the cost of others and possibly God Himself, sometimes. God reminds us of this fact in Romans 3:23. We should also remember that as faithful people, God is enjoined in our lapses every time we fail others. If we wrong people, we wrong God! There is no such condition as being wrong with people and not being wrong with God. That is not to say if we are being what God wants, and people reject our efforts, we are wrong. It is to say that failing to be do the right thing or be the right thing with man from God’s perspective, means we have failed God in every way. WE ALL NEED FORGIVENESS…
It is sin which separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2) Without forgiveness, there can be no life with God. Always remember – God has not walked away from man. People have the need to return to God. That would be through repentance and the cleansing blood of Christ. (Isaiah 1:18)
Thankfully, forgiveness is one of God’s foundational elements. In Exodus 34:7 God proclaims Himself to be the God who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin. (Numbers 14:8) The psalmist cries out for forgiveness. (Psalms 25:18) God is not only ready to forgive, (Psalms 88:5) but He is RICH in forgiveness. (Isaiah 55:7; Psalms 130:3-4) Early in the history of God’s people we find God exercising His forgiving nature. (Exodus 32:32) He continues this effort as the spies bring partly correct, but mostly false, reports from the promised land. (Numbers 14:19) It seems the one thing God will not forgive is an abandonment of our relationship with Him. (Joshua 24:19-20)
To say that man needs forgiveness, at all, is to simply reveal the obvious. Honest people will admit to the need and only the narcissistic, or the foolish, will deny the need of forgiveness in their life. It seems we understand being wronged far more than we understand the need to forgive, or be forgiven. Sadly, it is a lost art, especially in the current “cancel culture” where the most “off-hand” statement of long ago, or action, becomes the definition of a lifetime. Man is amazingly inconsistent in what he applies to the understanding of another person. Some will be accepted for behaviors that will get another completely condemned. The moral compass of human beings is twisted and unreliable.
We need forgiveness for having to be told that it is necessary. (Matthew 6:15) That is as much a revelation of who we are as any action.
Forgiveness can be among the most difficult element of our faith. Some have been greatly wronged. They have lost everything because someone else took something that was not theirs to take. The losses could be wealth, time, or life. We can forever hold that grudge or we can move past the wrongs of others. In God’s case He cannot coexist with sin, so man has to make himself holy, to serve the holy One. As for wrongs against man, if we are the one who wronged, we should seek out forgiveness with the understanding that it may never come. Such is the world we live in. If we have wronged God, then forgiveness is there to be had through the blood of Jesus the Christ. (John 3:16) If we are the wronged party, forgiveness of others can set us free from the burden of “grudgery.” To live a life of hate is to deny ourselves the freedom to move beyond an issue that is truly beyond our control.
Forgiveness is easier to pronounce than it is to practice. May we all learn to effectively and lovingly act like the one who gave His life for us all. If forgiveness seems difficult to practice, then remember we have all needed the forgiveness of God so profoundly, that the accompanying sacrifice of His innocent Son had to occur. I can’t imagine any wrong greater than that. No one has been more wronged than God. We are the most guilty part of creation, and yet we might have the gall to find forgiveness difficult for someone else. If there is someone in your life’s history you need to forgive, then do so and move on. Live the life of freedom God has given you your life to live. We were created for service to God, freedom, love, and peace. Though it can be hard, work at it and you might find even the most difficult circumstances can be dealt with through prayer and practice. Godspeed on your journey.