I Will Make it Easier for Others to Forgive Me

I Will Make it Easier for Others to Forgive Me.

Forgive

Father forgive me,  for I know not what I do.

 

I wanted to make it easier for people to forgive me by asking their forgiveness. So I began by trying it out on a group of friends I regularly meet for coffee. I decided not to wait till I knew I had offended to ask for forgiveness.

I said to them, “I want to ask all of you to forgive me.”

One of them simply looked at me and said, “Okay.”

Another one said, “What am I forgiving you for?”

“I am not sure, but I am sure that I have done something.”

They laughed, but not too loudly, and I realized that at some point, I had offended one or more at some time or other in the course of conversations. They seemed to genuinely appreciate hearing the words “forgive me” come out of my mouth.

Forgive Before You are Asked

I try to live in a state of awareness that I have been forgiven much. As I write this, I am endeavoring to follow Jesus’ example and to “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

My declaration is that I now choose to forgive all the sins that people have or will commit against me. This is my choice because I know people do not really understand the magnitude and true impact of what they are doing. This is my choice because I know that forgiveness is like a medicine, and an unforgiving attitude like a cancer.

It is sobering to make this declaration knowing there will be times when I will feel anger, resentment and unforgiveness toward others.  In the future when I will remember this declaration, it will help me move to releasing forgiveness more quickly.

This declaration of forgiveness was not my idea. It is an old idea, but still seems new. The idea comes from Jesus’ disciples who proclaimed that Jesus died for the sins of the world. My understanding of their message was that His death paid God’s price for all sins committed by people for all of human history both past and yet to come.

One of the last sentences uttered by Christ while enduring a crushing betrayal, brutal lashing, verbal assault and horrendous crucifixion was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV). My diseased heart always heard His words applying to those guards who had taken part in this heinous crime, but now I believe  His words were for all mankind, to cure the disease that lives in all of us.

“Forgive them.” I believe these were not idle words. And that the Father did not argue, “No Jesus, I can’t. Not for what they have done. Not for what they will yet do to those I love…to my creation.”

Jesus said, “Forgive them.”

And God forgave them, and I am one of them. And yet, I was not yet born, but I was forgiven the sin I was yet to commit, and am yet to commit. This has been a hard concept for me and one that I have not always understood. I was a believer for many years before I really understood what Jesus had done for me. Though I say I understand it, I wonder if I really grasp it yet.

After Jesus’ famous words to forgive them, He uttered equally famous words:

“It is finished” (John 19:30 NASB).

Finished What?

Again, it was years before I asked, “Finished what…?”

The message of the early disciples was that he finished His mission to pay the price required by God that forgives the rebellion of humankind.

A friend of mine once said…”I don’t have to forgive him, until he asks me for forgiveness.”  That sounds right, but I think he missed the point.  He missed the benefit of forgiving.

God gives us an example that can leave little doubt about whether He wants us to forgive before we are asked. For the Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Before we existed, He made the decision to forgive and to sacrifice for sin. All this before we even thought to ask. To forgive before we are asked is the ultimate act of humility. It is also essential for deep happiness.

If you are interested in more on the topic of the Power of Humility, the Secret to Being Happy,  click here.  If you would like to contact me you can at Claiborne.mize@gmail.com

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