Forgiveness Relationships

Jesus begins his ministry by asking people to repent because the kingdom of heaven is coming. He assumes they need forgiveness and asks for their repentance. The very first beginning message of Jesus was to talk about something intensely personal. Not only does he bring up their sins and mistakes he says they should be sorry for those and find forgiveness through redemption. He treats us all like we need forgiveness. We do. We could be embarrassed that Jesus knows, or we could us the strength of that relationship.
 
Why would God design our existence where forgiveness is such a big part of it? If everyone needs forgiveness doesn’t that sound like bad planning unless there is a reason why forgiveness would be important to everyone. Forgiveness is not correcting mistakes when there shouldn’t be any. Forgiveness is a relationship building experience that everyone should have. The same way that love or respect is part of developing relationships, forgiveness is important also.
 
What if we deny we need forgiveness? We have never done anything wrong. At least we have not done anything bad enough that forgiveness is necessary. How bad does it have to be before we need forgiveness? What God wants is for his people to be holy like he is. To be holy means to be without sin. It doesn’t mean to have never committed sin, but we no longer have sin. We have been forgiven. It is a way of living in relationship with God. He doesn’t want perfect, sinless, faultless, he wants forgiven. Will we accept a relationship based on forgiveness rather than perfection?
 
What are the closest relationships we have? Are they there because we are perfect? More likely they are the ones who know all our faults. They are not treated like company when they come over. We know we can trust them with our secrets. The relationship is close precisely because of the shared failures. We no longer have to pretend. They know our flaws and they love and accept us anyway. We can just be who we are. We don’t have to hide our thoughts and feelings even when they are not what they should be. Forgiveness and grace are immediate because the relationship is more important than perfection. God wants that kind of relationship.
 
Terry
Friday, September 13, 2019

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