Sunday, April 19, 2009

FORGIVENESS + ______________= PEACE

I shouldn’t be a surprise that writing a book about forgiveness would trigger warfare that requires me to experience first hand both giving and receiving forgiveness. I’m not sure which is worse, giving forgiveness or receiving it. The agony of being wronged, betrayed, mistreated, hurt or violated creates an explosion of emotions that need to be address individually. Ultimately forgiving someone is the bridge that closes the chasm between me and fellowship with God and possibly with that other person.

Equally challenging, at least for me, is receiving forgiveness from someone I have wronged. The thought of hurting someone, especially a friend and loosing their trust, cuts deep into my heart. I tend to punish myself even after making amends. Continuing to beat myself up after being forgiven is the work of the enemy. He loves taking my mistakes and shoving them into my face as a constant reminder of how unworthy I am to do God’s work.

The truth is, I am unworthy to do God’s work, but God doesn’t require me to be worthy. That would be impossible in this lifetime. But God does require me to be open and honest with Him. To be a living and breathing creation that seeks to serve and worship God and to bring the light of truth to the people around me. In order for me to accomplish that goal, I need to accept forgiveness…from people who offer it and especially from God. How do allow that forgiveness to stick and take effect even when I don’t feel worthy? The gift of forgiveness from God, is always accompanied by another gift, one that makes it possible for forgiveness to “stick.”

Grace is the gift of glue that makes forgiveness stick. My friend and pastor recently reminded me of the grace factor. He said, “Our holiness doesn’t hang on what we do right, it hangs on Gods grace and forgiveness for what we do wrong.” I know I’ll never be “good enough” for God, and I’ll make plenty of mistakes, but my ability to “be good” or “not” isn’t what God is interested in. He is interested in my heart’s desire and my decision to receive his grace and forgiveness for “not measuring up”.

What about you? Do you have a hard time accepting the FREE gift of grace and forgiveness from God for the wrong in your life? When you open that first free gift of grace from God, it comes with a personal trainer called the Holy Spirit, who teaches you how to exercise your heart to seek after forgiveness and grace. The absolute best part of using the gift of forgiveness and grace is the radiating peace that pulsates through your body, stimulating the aroma of joy. What a delight to walk in the fragrance of God!

Romans 3:23-24 pretty much sums up my thoughts:
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,"

If you are reading this blog, then God has a gift for you...what's keeping you from opening and accepting His gift? I'd love to hear your story. Leave a comment or send me an email.

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