Faith is needed in order to forgive,
To help us survive the other’s lack of response,
Through enduring faith we are given to live,
So pray to God that in this way He’d ensconce.
ENSCONCE: to fix firmly.
We should want all the help we can get from the Spirit of God, to empower our faith, such that we would truly ensconce ourselves towards such capability. We need to have such faith that whatever discouragements come our way we will not let fear convince us to give up on forgiving the person who needs to be forgiven.
Fear is responsible for so much unforgiveness. When we allow the lie to propagate within us, that human beings have power – and something in order to rival God’s power – and are therefore to be feared, we find a blockage in our ability to advance to them the grace they deserve. We resist them because they are powerful in our eyes. But if we thought they had no special power, and felt God was in control over our circumstances, then forgiveness is within reach.
Let us be reminded of this point that God has forgiven us, and whoever God has given shall not be found condemned at all by anyone. Who are we, in our broken human form, to withhold forgiveness?
We know we ought to forgive, but the problem is we get tired of running around the same old mulberry bush; what we want to do we find we cannot do and that just frustrates us. Moreover, the other party does nothing to ‘warrant’ our love – in flesh held turns – so we have all sorts of difficulties extending grace in practical ways.
Still, we are charged under God to extend that grace to others that God has extended to us. There will be no excuse when we enter heaven, when we come face-to-face with the living God, when all truth is revealed, when we will have no place to hide. If we do not confess now, we will certainly confess later. The consequences for unforgiveness are eternal and dire, though this is not to suggest our eternal salvation in any way at risk.
When we have elevated a person to a position where they have influence over us then we have a problem in forgiving them. The answer in forgiveness is to elevate God, and put all his subjects where they belong. If we truly believe that God is all-powerful and in control then we will surrender our unforgiveness, on a day by day basis, as a sacrifice of praise for the only source of power for grace we have.
When a human being has no power over us to inflict fear we are able to forgive. If we believe that God is the only one to fear (rightly) then our human relationships have correct weight and forgiveness is easier. Isn’t it true that the person we struggle to forgive also has influence over us?
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.