Posted by: forfreedomalone | 20/07/2015

Can’t ‘receive’ forgivness.

When I teach about forgiveness I use this analogy.

If you imagine we were children playing together and I shoot you with a bow and arrow. The arrow head gets lodged in your arm and you run home to your Mum screaming in pain. She will tell you not to play with me again and so we won’t see one another for 40 years.
Over those 40 years I have forgotten all about you, but you have not forgotten me for one second. You have been in pain and misery for every day of those 40 years. That arrow head has set up infection and your arm is pure agony, in fact, it is killing you.
You are a very angry person and you cannot go anywhere without suffering more pain as others bump into your arm causing you further suffering.

What I did was wrong, but who has the problem?
It certainly isn’t me.
Your suffering is not affecting me, your refusal to remove that arrow head is not causing me any pain, but it will, ultimately, kill you.

This is where forgiveness comes in.

To us, forgiveness means, ‘let me off with what I did to you’;  or saying, “It’s okay” when it patently is not; just trying to forget it all.
That is not what God means by forgiveness.

To forgive means “to send it away”.
If you ‘forgive’ me, you will remove that arrow head and send it away.
Who will be affected by that action?  You.
You will now be able to heal. You will be able to live a better life. You will be happier, pain free and more content.
Will it affect me?  No.
It will no more affect me than if you chose to keep the darn thing.

You see, wounds to our soul, offenses, affect the receiver not the giver and sending them away affect the one who sends them away and no one else.

However, there is a spin off, a baby brother to forgiveness, called ‘mercy’.
Mercy means “to treat better than you deserve”.

When you have sent away that arrow head and your arm has healed, you will be able to show me mercy. You will be able, from a whole heart, not the power of self will, to treat me better than I deserve.
You can treat me with love and compassion, which, in due time may make me see that going about shooting people with arrows is not the best way to behave and I may come to repent…to “change my mind”…. about my behaviour.  This change of mind will in its turn bring about a change in heart and in action. I will become a different person because you forgave my offense.
But it doesn’t happen the way we think it does.
I don’t change because I “receive your forgiveness” but because I receive your mercy, which you can only afford me, when you send away the offense you are nursing.

Now, move that principle on to a much great plane and see that that is exactly what God has done with us.

Sin causes him offense. He is wounded when we walk outside of his will; which is for us to be righteous as he is righteous, holy as he is holy, his loved children in right relationship with their father; because he knows how much damage it will do to his beloved children to walk in sin.
The whole ‘point’ of sin is not to harm or destroy mankind, but to hurt God.  Satan, I believe, does not actually care a toss about us, he wants to hurt the Father. He holds resentment toward God and the best way of ‘getting back at him’ is to harm his favoured creation.
God, has ‘sent away’ all the offenses of sin, he has forgiven them all, there is now NOTHING standing in the way of his mercy towards us. Satan still tries to get us to walk in the sinful way, but even when we do, the constantly living, constantly flowing, constantly efficacious blood of the perfect sacrificial lamb is doing its work.
There will never be a micro-second when the required sacrifice ceases to be effective and God will return to holding offenses against us.
He was wounded by our transgressions, but he has forgiven them, he has sent them away, as far as the East is from the West.

His mercy is now what he offers to us. When we receive it we are treated better than we deserve and we see the abundant goodness of God before us. His indescribable goodness will lead us to change our minds about who he is; or who we think he is; so that we can return to relationship with him.
Who would not want a relationship with one who sent away SO many offenses so that he could pour out such mercy on those who deserve no such thing.  His love is the motivator, his grace the enabler and we the receivers.
When we receive from him his mercy, love and grace, we find we now have the mercy, love and grace to show to mankind when we are offended.
This is freedom.
This is good news.
This is the Gospel.


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