I was reminded of the day I had to explain forgiveness to my grandson who was eight years old at the time. When it happened I really thought I was armed and ready and could do a good job, I got a little surprise about that. My grandson was angry at a little girl friend who had not returned his text messages for a day or two but I discovered that she had been at volleyball camp and was unable to return his messages. I explained that to him thinking he would understand, but instead he said that it wasn’t his choice that she was away at camp and she should have taken the time to text him anyway! He was so offended that he said he was never going to forgive her! I sat down with him and said “You need to listen to something,” and then I began to quote the Lord’s Prayer. When I got to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” I stopped and gave him all the words for “trespasses”, sin, debt, someone doing you wrong, I gave him the “Message” translation of it. When I finished I was convinced I had done a good job, but then he looked up at me and said, “Yes Mammy, I see that she does owe me an apology!” I had failed miserably in conveying to him that he was supposed to forgive her unconditionally, instead of that, he wanted an apology! Since he was only 8, I knew he just needed time to mature, and continue to learn lessons.
How about us, we are all older than 8 and yet, it seems we still need apologies or else we will just “delete” a person from our life and our social network!
I explained to him that God forgives us according to how we have forgiven others.
Psalms 130:1-8 Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy. If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped. I pray to God—my life a prayer—and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. O Israel, wait and watch for God—with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes generous redemption. In the King James verse 3 uses the word “Iniquity” translated from “Avon”. In Strong’s concordance it means, evil fault, sin, iniquity, guilt, blame moral illness, perversion, and crookedness. “Avon” comes from “Avah” which means to bend or distort, so iniquity is “evil bent” within humans or the “crooked” direction or “warped” deeds of sinners. Knowing that iniquity is something too heavy to bear by fallen man God promised that His Suffering Servant would bear the iniquities of His people.
Isaiah 53:11 Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,” as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Luke 7:47 “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
If you have been forgiven of a lot, then in turn you need to forgive a lot, just let it go, ask Jesus to help and you can do it!
And by the way the incident I mentioned happened six years ago but as I remember it all turned out good, Gabe forgave his friend, however there were no apologies, just hugs!