Climbing Mount Forgiveness

 is for Forgiveness  
     1.  act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.
disposition or willingness to forgive.
Definition: God’s pardon of our sins, and our obligation to
pardon others.
(From What So Amazing about Grace? Philip
Forgiveness is 
           spiritual surgery, separating a person from his
hurtful act.
Mom demanded we practice childhood forgiveness.
“Getting Even” was paramount in our sibling relationship between my two
brothers and me. Shaking hands, saying a forced ‘thank you’ or giving a hug
didn’t add up to true forgiveness, but seemed to satisfy Mom.  The forgiveness exercise remained futile. We
built a pride-wall built with ‘I am right’ blocks. Then Mom told us that God
would do the ‘getting even.’  He would
take care of us.  After that, when we had
an argument, we wait for God to take care of the argument…. accompanied by finger-pointing
and a chorus of “Nah, nah, nah, nah!”  
Romans 12:19 – Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the
righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will
pay them back,” says the LORD
The worldview is the lens through which we
interpret our world.  If we have not
learned the value of forgiveness, our worldview becomes a thick layer of
defensive arrogance.  Any perceived
offense against us becomes a deep chasm of forgiveness water that threatens to
overwhelm us.  In the choppy false waters
of vengeance, we feel safe and protected. 
Any relationship throughout life becomes a danger zone of failure, harsh
words and degrading insults and zingers. In this worldview we see chaos, hurt
and loneliness.  But there is another
way.  How can we change our worldview to
become truly free and filled with joy?
There is one level of forgiveness where each in a
relationship can say the required words as a prelude.  Reciprocity Forgiveness is built on, “I will
forgive you if you forgive me.” 
Then there is what I call Blind Forgiveness.  After missing one Sunday’s service, I
returned to the church the following week. 
I learned that a friend said, “I forgive Emily,” before my brothers and
sisters in Christ. That was forty years ago, and I am still unaware for what I
was forgiven – incomplete forgiveness.  I
never saw my friend again.
How do we achieve this forgiving spirit? How can we
become truly free?  There is only one way
– understand the reality of God in our lives and the extent to which He loves
us. When we understand and stand before him in humility, as a child, His love
makes our life complete.  He creates us
with the ability to make choices.  We
choose so many things in our lives – from the clothing we wear, the food we eat,
the car we drive to the vocations that we use to provide.  We also choose our worldview and our desire
to worship or not worship God. 
From every side, we are badgered with options on
how to live.  Often our peers further
create havoc with our choices.  Whatever
we choose, those choices bind us.  If it
is freedom we choose – it is ours through Jesus Christ.  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:36
Choosing to forgive gives us freedom. As God
forgives us, He gives us spiritual freedom. 
Though our bodies are enslaved by illness, evil, evil men, our spirits
and our minds are still free to choose God. 
The God who forgives, for He removes our sins as far from us as the east is
from the west.
  Psalm 103:12.
and forgive
us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Mark 11:4a.
How can un-forgiveness chain our spirit and our
heart? The weapons of Satan for soul-crunching include betrayal, anger,
impatience, hurt, hate, malice, lack of control, jealousy, deceit.  These patterns in life chain us to hurt and
only God’s Grace can loose us.  Living in
these chains, we are in a State of Ungrace, (from So What is So Amazing about Grace, Philip Yancy)  Again, it is our choice to be free of the
chains of ‘ungrace.’
Compare the life of forgiveness laced with
compassion, hope and humility that exhibits love, joy, kindness, gentleness,
goodness and self-control.  It is only a
choice away.  This choice is to forgive.
Do we understand that this is what Jesus modeled?  We see that trusting and being faithful to
God’s teaching is the sum and total of freedom and a peace-filled life.  A life of hope is when our hearts are filled
running over with God’s Grace.  Grace is
not just a prayer at mealtime; it is forgiveness and hope.  Grace is not a period of days until payment
is due.  Grace is the forgiveness of our
sins through the death on the cross, and burial and resurrection of Jesus
Christ.  It is abundant love, love without
end, into eternity.
When I was a child, someone held a coin worth 50
cents close to my eye.  He asked what I
could see.  At first I could see beyond
the coin.  As he drew it closer to my
eye, all I could see was the coin. 
Living close to Jesus, we do not see any other godlike idol in our
lives.  We see the world for what it is –
fleeting.  We are made for eternal living
and not for a temporary life here on earth.
Climbing the heights of the Mount of Forgiveness
each day brings us treasures in our hearts beyond any that we can find anywhere
on this earth.  Eternal Treasures.  I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great
Psalm 119:162
Micah 7:18-19 – Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of
the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your
people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you
will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw
them into the depths of the ocean!
Mark 11:25 – But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding
a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Matthew 26:28 – …for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant
between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins
of many.
II Corinthians 5:17 – This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has
become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Ephesians 1:7 – He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased
our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Colossians 1:13-14 – For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness
and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom
and forgave our sins.

Comments? eacombs@att.net