“Forgive us AS we forgive.”
This is a powerful statement, and one should be very cautious when making it. Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those that trespass against us.” Every time you pray this prayer you are telling God, forgive me in the same way I forgive others or treat me the same way I treat others in the matter of forgiveness.
Do you really want God to forgive you with the same type of forgiveness that is being taught to us, one example of our way of forgiveness is us saying,
“I will forgive her but I will never forget what she did to me.”
Now I am not naive, I am quite aware that our memory cannot be erased by a magic eraser when we are hurt. But making the statement, ‘I will never forget,’ means you will always keep the wrong someone has done you at the forefront of your mind, and it will stand as a witness against that person as long as they live. What if God should forgive like that? What if God should say to you, “I will forgive you but I’ll never forget?”
Here’s another famous statement we make,
“I will forgive her but she will never get the chance to do that to me again because I will never let her near me.”
Hmmm…just imagine God saying that. Again, there are the exceptional times when you must stay away from those who are abusing you, but I dare say, most of the time this is not the case. Most times we are not willing to be hurt again and so we adapt a selfish world view of forgiveness. We often state, “we have to be wise.” as an excuse to harbor resentment and to stay away. Search as I might, I have never seen a Scripture that says, ‘forgive but use wisdom.’ You can correct me if I’m wrong.
I am beside myself sometimes as I see loneliness rip through our world holding many captive and causing us to have a world filled with people who are depressed, sick, and even dismayed. Forgiveness is supposed to bring reconciliation. The Bible states that the purpose of Jesus’ death is so that we could be reconciled to God. He forgave so He could have fellowship. This world teaches that we should forgive so that we can somehow find freedom to move on. We are taught to exercise wisdom and keep people that hurt us away. The world tells you that forgiveness is for you….for your own selfish gain. Our selfishness and lack of understanding are why we are so lonely. We push people away, we build imaginary walls around our heart, and then we convince ourself that we are better off. I too, like many others, am guilty of this. Our lack of understanding of forgiveness is killing us.
Just flip through social media a while and you will realize how lonely people are. But we put on a show and pretend we are okay. Let’s take for example this statements:
“Sometimes being alone is the best feeling in the world because you don’t have to live with a constant insecurity of losing someone.You sleep alone and wake up alone without fear of being cheated upon.”
“I bet if I send this hug no one will respond. Let’s see how many people respond and hug me back.”
“Oh! I forgot you only call me when you need something.”
And so on…and so on…
People say social media brings loneliness, but I say loneliness is what feeds social media. We push away everyone in our lives until there is no one left, and so we are forced to constantly seek friendship and happiness from social media. This is because we have not looked clearly at this statement…forgive me as I forgive. It amounts to this…the same way I forgive, forgive me. Therefore, if I want to be set free by God from the wrong I did, I must set others free of the wrong they have done to me.
Loneliness often stems from a heart of unforgiveness. In fact, sickness (physical and emotional), often do too. Every time you kneel to ask forgiveness of God repeat this statement…forgive me AS I forgive…then think about the ones you say you have forgiven. If you have forgiven them in the same way you would like God to forgive you, then you have done well. If not, then something is wrong with the way you forgive.