This weekend, I experienced the freedom of forgiveness. No grudges. No anger. Just a simple extension of grace to others with no strings attached.
It was amazing.
Let me explain. I am a perfectionist by nature. Typically I struggle with forgiveness because my perfectionism demands strict adherence to high standards. While I may say and even think I’ve forgiven someone, the truth is I still hang on to a little piece of unforgiveness. I can easily justify to myself why someone should have met my standards and why there really is no excuse.
In spite of consciously knowing what the Bible says about God’s forgiveness, I realize many times I have unconsciously projected my skewed view of forgiveness onto Him. This, in turn, has affected how I give and receive forgiveness.
I thought to myself, “What if God forgave me like I forgive others?”
The answer was pretty ugly. I would have no hope because God would always be counting my wrongs against me and holding a grudge, and, the truth is, He of all beings has the right to do so. He is the ultimate perfectionist.
But this is not how God forgives at all and this fact is truly mind-blowing to me, especially considering His perfectionism. God, knowing exactly what the standards are and how far we have fallen from them, chooses to wipe our slate clean.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed out transgressions from us. (Ps. 103:12)
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you, there is forgiveness, therefore you are feared. (Ps. 130:3-4)
He extends grace towards us through pure forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.
As a follower of Christ, we are called to forgive each other as God has forgiven us. I can’t express how freeing it feels to forgive someone like this. Granted, some wrongs can cut pretty deep and require time, but the satisfaction of holding a grudge is nothing in comparison to the joy of letting it go.