THE GRACE TO LET GO
Updated: Jan 31, 2021
I am fascinated with the concept of forgiveness because it can at times be so illusive. We know we should forgive, we must forgive. The bible even tells us we must forgive just as God forgives us. Yet for so many, forgiveness remains illusive. It is just too hard to do. Even Christians, people who know and are taught better find it hard. The transgression was just to great and the injustice was just too much. Even with a lifetime of pain because of unforgiveness we just can’t let it go. And even if we were to let it go how do we truly do it? Can you separate from your pain long enough to look objectively at the situation? I said the other day rarely when people hurt you is it about you. You just got in the way. So then, do you carry around the weight of their shortcomings for the rest of your life or is there truly a way to release them.
During Christ’s time here on earth there were some people who knew about the promise of the Savior so when He taught, loved and healed they eventually recognized Him. There were others that knew of the promise and did not think Jesus was who He said He was. There were others who had absolutely no clue. They didn’t know about Him, they weren’t looking for Him and they had no use for Him. Vastly different opinions, much like it is today. And yet He went to the cross for all of us. He died for the ones who felt so confused and sorrowful because their Savior hung dying on a cross as well as for those that looked on Him with contempt and disdain because He dared to call Himself their Savior. He also died for the ones who thought the whole thing was funny and entertaining. Jesus was able to look down and say: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Realistically how do you forgive those that hurt you? Whether intentionally or unintentionally. There is a saying that says “time heals all wounds”. But that does not always ring true. Sometimes time just gives unforgiveness time to marinate. You marinate meat so that once its heated up you taste the flavor throughout. When unforgiveness marinates it penetrates and flavors other parts of your life. Especially when things get heated.
The only way to forgive is to ask God to show you something about yourself and the other person that you never considered. A fresh perspective if you will. Even if the person you need to forgive is yourself. God can give you a fresh revelation about any situation if you allow and expect Him to. It doesn’t take discipline or strength to let go and forgive. While these traits are very useful and necessary in other parts of one’s life in the area of forgiveness they are not very effective because the will has to be there. It takes grace to release someone in forgiveness. Receiving grace and then giving it, because you cannot give away what you yourself have not received. How do you ask God to help you? Do you say “can you help me?” or “will you help me?” or simply “help me”. Can you help me says I don’t know if you are able to make a difference in this situation. Will you help me says I believe you can I just don’t know if you will do it for me. Help me says I believe you can, I have faith that you can, I believe that you will
Everything you do should be measured as if you are standing at the bottom of the cross looking up, with Jesus by your side. Just look at the cross for a minute. He is no longer there. He is right with you because He has risen. Everything He did, leading up to and on the cross He did for you. Look up and hear him have the grace to say “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Some do not even know they need forgiveness. Yet He hung, bled and died so that everyone would have the opportunity for eternal life. If they choose. He gave us a break do we not have the Grace to do the same? If Christ is in you, you have the absolute power to do so. But like everything else in the Kingdom of God it is a choice. You must choose this day whom you will serve. Do not be deceived beloved there is no middle ground. If it is Christ you choose to serve you must be prepared to pick up your own cross. Forget about your right to be right. Forget about your right to be understood, respected or revered. Your future is secure in Christ. He’s got your back. Which frees you to have someone else’s . The Lord continuously forgives us of our shortcomings. We must learn to allow ourselves to become agents of healing.
The disciples that walked with Jesus made plenty of mistakes. They debated each other on who was the greatest among them. Peter was hard-headed and high strung and he also denied knowing Jesus before He was crucified. They couldn’t even stay awake when He needed them! Jesus was in agony right before events were set into motion for Him to go to the cross. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and asked for the disciples to stand watch. But they fell asleep. Three times! The night He needed their support the most they were not there for Him. Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until Jesus proved it to him. Those are just a few examples of why Jesus says the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Jesus knew their hearts and never gave up on them and he won’t give up on you either. When Jesus ascended to heaven the disciples went on to do great things for the Kingdom of God with the power of the Holy Spirit. They came to understand fully what it meant to pick up their cross and follow Him. We must be very careful. Judas walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus and served Jesus but in the end his heart was so hardened that he aligned himself with evil and made a deal he couldn’t take back even though he desired and tried to. The condition of his heart left him open to manipulation and sealed his fate. That’s why forgiveness is so very important. Don’t ever let your guard down and think this could never happen to you. We must forgive so we can protect the condition of our heart. It’s not a punishment or unfair request. it’s actually for your protection so we don’t become susceptible or fall prey to deception. Look to Jesus and keep your eyes on the cross and you will be just fine. He Himself will guide you into all truth. Your only job is to keep your heart open to Him and His guidance, He will do the rest in and through you. What a glorious God we serve. Thank you Jesus for your amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. I once was blind but now I see (from the song Amazing Grace).