Forgiveness for Any Other Reason but Love…. Is Not…

Devotional THought of the Day:
38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39  But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. 40  And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41  And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:38-41 (TEV)

806         You were very sorry to hear that most un-Christian comment, “Forgive your enemies: you can’t imagine how it angers them!” You could not keep quiet, and you replied calmly, “I don’t want to cheapen love by humiliating my neighbour. I forgive, because I love, and I am hungry to imitate the Master.” (1)

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that forgiveness is not learned, it is not a discipline, it is simply the result of love.

Today, I cam across the quote from Escriva, and I again was amazed at the thought.  Simply because I’ve heard this said before, I’ve even probably used something like it along the way.  Just show them you are bigger than them, and forgive them.  ( I apologize to any I’ve said that too.  I’ve also heard it said this way, you don’t have to like forgiving them, you just have to obey God and do it.

Or perhaps the most common excuse.  Forgive them, for it may not benefit them, but it benefits you

Somehow I can’t see Jesus, on the cross, being benefitted by forgiving his captors, or Stephen, being stoned by Paul’s friends, being benefited.  Or any of the martyrs over the last 2 millennia, who forgave as they were tortured and died, benefitting from being free of the resentment and anger they felt.

If we forgive because we desire what is beneficial for ourselves, when the hurt and pain come back, then we will be ill-prepared to deal with it.  It will again fuel resentment and anger, and thoughts of how to make them pay for the sin will creep back into our hearts

The way to forgive, to bypass revenge is simple – love.

To accept the pain, the hurt, the cost of loving that person. To give that all over to Christ, the one who taught us to pray to the Father to be forgive and to be able to forgive. The one who died for His enemies, because He loved them.  The One who frees us, by paying for every debt, every trespass, every pain.

The one we hunger to love, and desire to imitate, because He has loved us…..

Mercy, Love, forgiveness….. on package deal.

May we do so…counting on the Lord’s mercy


(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3326-3329). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 7, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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