Beyond Forgiveness

forgiveness-jaIs there something beyond or better than the choice and act of forgiveness?  I’d like to share some thoughts with you on finding the peace of that place.

As I’ve considered and attempted to practice what I’m suggesting here, it’s not from a doctrinal definition, or scriptural argument.  I’m not – nor do I desire – to split hairs on meanings of words.  But, I have found a “concept of truth” that’s been very helpful to me.  I hope it will help you in your journey with relational wholeness.

We all experience wounds from unkind – even malicious – words and actions of other people in our lives.  In some cases, the bottom line is that you and I have been overly sensitive or offend-able.  We’ve made the proverbial mountain out of a mole hill emotionally.  However, we’ve all probably suffered words and experiences that were more devastating.

I heard the testimony of a lady that had died from cancer and ultimately returned to her physical body.  Through a process of five weeks, her tumors totally dissolved and, today, is completely whole in body.  One of the amazing parts of her experience was an “upgrade” in the area of understanding forgiveness.  She says that what became real in her time “outside of her body” extended on into daily life.  It wasn’t only meant to be a reality “on the other side,” but has the potential for being lived out in our “now.”

In the physical death state, she found herself looking at things that had happened to her that had caused a great deal of pain.  Issues that, on earth, she’d not been able to resolve in her emotions.  Ie: Not been able to forgive. 

As she saw these events re-happening, she suddenly also had a kind of “understanding.”  She, then,  also realized that if the roles had been reversed and her offender’s life story had been her life story, she would more than likely have said or done the same painful things.  Therefore, her conclusion toward those people was that there was no need for forgiveness.

Jesus said on the Cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”  To me, those words of Jesus grasps the same idea.  He’s asking God to forgive them.  He’s not saying it’s not necessary.  However, he does say, “Don’t lay it to their charge.  They didn’t know what they were doing.

I’m not saying there aren’t other questions that come up.  However, I’ve found a fresh ability to release folks when I make the same choice by asking the Lord to help me put myself in their shoes.  I’ve found it profoundly helpful to say, “…because they didn’t know what they were doing.  And, I may have done the same thing myself.”

Again…this proposal doesn’t answer everything.  It’s not meant to.  But, please consider how it may contain wisdom for you in at least some of your circumstances.

What do you think?  Please comment:

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Does God Love (Like)?

Who does God love?  The make believe you?  The you that you wish you were?  Or the you that has so many inconsistencies that you are a disappointment to yourself, let alone God?   This may surprise you…

At least it will surprise your “religious” self…

God doesn’t love the person you wish you were.  He loves the “you” that you feel has no real redemptive value.

(just as an aside…He likes you, too.  How do I know that?  Because “like” is one of the qualities of love.  And He is LOVE in total.)

In fact, this may surprise you even further…

You may have heard this phrase, “God loves the Jesus in you” -or- “When God looks at you, He sees Jesus.”    Sorry, close…but no cigar.   When God looks at you….He sees YOU in all your inconsistencies and shortcomings.  He sees YOU.   And, He loves YOU.  He has since BEFORE Jesus touched your life.

<break….If you haven’t asked Jesus to wrap His arms around you and make you His…you can, right now as you read this.  Say, “Jesus, I need and want you.”>

Embrace the reality of your weakness. Don’t run from it.  Being honest and letting God love the “less-than-perfect” you is your only hope of being infected by the power of His raging love for you.  Once you have “the disease” and become “love sick” you’ll begin the joyous journey of discovering true freedom and authentic change.

How does this make you feel?  Please comment.  I want to know what you’re thinking!

Gary