IF ANYONE TOLD YOU I WILL NOT forgive them, they lied to you. I’ve been forgiven a huge debt that I couldn’t pay. Not everyone understands their wretchedness apart from God, but I do. I know I was destined for hell. I did not deserve grace, but because of His goodness, Jesus shed His blood for me. I do not take the cross lightly.
My forgiveness came at a high cost. I did not earn it and I do not deserve it, but I receive forgiveness by faith in His finished work. I live my life now for Him who loved me and gave Himself for me. And because I have been forgiven so great of a debt that I could not pay, I freely forgive others their debts against me. Are we not told to daily pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”?
“If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven” Matthew 6:15
Why are you so angry with another when you yourself know that you have done the same thing to others? Not only have you sinned against another, but you sinned against God when you lied, cheated, slandered, or hated another. Chew on that for a minute. Holding a grudge only imprisons you. Forgiveness sets you free. But there’s a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgive is the Greek word aphiēmi, meaning “to send away, dismiss, suffer to depart; to emit, send forth.” I “send forth” forgiveness, but it can be received or it can be rejected depending on the person. To receive forgiveness, the person must repent.
Reconciliation is the Greek word katallagē, meaning “an exchange; reconciliation, restoration to favor.” Reconciliation involves forgiveness. But it goes beyond forgiveness. When I forgive someone, there is no guarantee that we will have a restored relationship. Forgiveness is solo. You can forgive someone who is dead. It may well be that even after I have forgiven someone that we remain estranged. Reconciliation, is a joint venture. However, there can be no restoration of relationship without Biblical repentance. As the prodigal returned to the Father in a position of humility,
“I am not even worthy to be called your son” Luke 15:19
So we must repent if the relationship is to be restored. Notice that the prodigal did not come in demanding his father forgive him or demanding his place back as a son. No friend, repentance has no demands. Repentance is a complete humbling of yourself and taking full responsibility for your actions. You cannot sweep things under the rug and pretend that things never happened. (I discussed this in yesterday’s daily) .
This is not true repentance but is operating under deception and will produce a superficial, disingenuous relationship, doomed for failure. No true fellowship can take place under these circumstances. God requires Biblical repentance, not a “sorry not sorry” or “I’m sorry I got caught” as a means of reconciliation. Own your actions and be sorrowful over your sin. It’s the only way to any restored relationship, including our relationship with the Father.
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