It has been an interesting week. You know if somebody decided to secretly film my life and put it on TV as a reality show, no one would believe it wasn't a soap opera!
OK, so maybe it isn't that bad, but I would love having one week of carefree time...I'd settle for one day!
I'm not going to bother you with details, just pray...everything is minor but piled up!
Onto my thoughts about payback.
God has been teaching me a lot about forgiveness lately. He has shown me that although I follow the steps of forgiving someone and even say I forgive them. Although I ask God to forgive them and even try and reconcile when it is appropriate to do so, I have found that I have still not forgiven. I could not understand this. I have prayed for years asking God to help me forgive. I finally came to the wrong conclusion that forgiveness must be something you keep having to do until one day it just sticks. Like memorizing math facts. But then, something new would pop up and wham-o! I would realize anew the unforgiveness that was in my heart. I knew that something was missing! There was something I wasn't doing or needed to do to make forgiveness complete.
I'm so excited....God revealed it!
So...most of you may know this but I promise I did not!
True forgiveness means there is no need for payback! In fact true forgiveness means I ask God to wipe away the entire account....just like He did for me!
I finally got it! The account is wiped clean! I would say that I forgave that person but still expect some consequences or payback. I wanted either an apology (And lets be honest do we really get all those we deserve...or even give them?) or I wanted the person to get punished. But that isn't how God did my sins! He wiped the account clean. There isn't a ledger of past sins that are just marked forgiven...with God there is no ledger at all! Everyday starts a new account! Now....I am NOT GOD! But I can ask that He wipe the ledger clean for the ones who owe me. That is forgiveness!
Check out the parable in Matthew 18: 21-35. This is the story of the debtors. Read it with this in mind...as you know the king is God. You and I (Believers) are the 1st debtor. I heard recently that this man's debt was so big that it would have taken over 200,000 years to have payed it back. The truth was that just like you and me this man could not payback what he owed. We can't payback God with enough sacrifices to settle our sin accounts either. When the King had compassion he wiped the debt clean. (I had somehow thought that he allowed the man to begin paying it back) But it states clearly the debt was forgiven. Then the debtor left the Kings presence and demanded payment from a man who owed him much less. He punished this man both physically and punitively by putting him in prison. That too is me. I want punishment/justice from those who truthfully owe me far less than I have ever owed God.
So I have started going through my list of unforgiven people and been canceling their debt. Leaving the account to God not me.
This does not mean that I now run into the person's arms or place myself in harms way. It does mean that I am now free and they do not owe me anything!
I'll write more on this later I'm sure...this thinking is new to me...so I know more insight is sure to come.
What do you think? Am I the only one who has struggled with this?