You’re called to initiate forgiveness.
Maybe this is old news to you. Perhaps I’ve even heard it before myself. But have you ever had an experience where you hear something and for some reason this time is just strikes you as absolutely eye-opening?
That happened to me recently at a prayer night with some women from my church. We were walking through the Lord’s Prayer and using each sentence to guide prayer over ourselves, our church and the larger body of believers.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
How many times have we said those words (or a slight variation) in our life time? But it’s what someone said next that opened my eyes in a new way to the topic of forgiveness. She said we should be seeking to initiatereconciliation.
Just let that sink in for a minute. You are called to initiate forgiveness and reconciliation.
I don’t know about you, but I have found myself willing to let a relationship lay broken as I waited for the other person to come to her senses. I was more than willing to forgive her…just as soon as she came to me and asked for forgiveness. But this thinking is so NOT what God intends for us.
In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew chapter 18, the master is settling debts and considers throwing a servant in jail until he can repay his massive debt. The servant assures the master he will pay him back all he owes. Instead of allowing him to do that, the master initiated forgiveness and canceled his debt. There was no reason he needed to cancel the debt, the servant already said he would pay him back. The servant never asked for his debt to be forgiven, but the master initiated the healing.
The story goes on to show the servant having the same exact opportunity to show mercy and forgiveness to a fellow servant and failing miserably. God is showing us through this parable that we should not sit back and wait to forgive people when they ask us to forgive them. Instead, we should extend forgiveness and reconciliation even when we think they still owe us something.
Who is God asking you to initiate reconciliation with? How are you going to do that? Maybe it’s a quick phone call or a text message that clearly communicates your love for him or her. Or maybe it’s time you finally grabbed lunch or coffee with this person. Perhaps you’re meant to pray fiercely over this person and your heart toward him or her. However God is calling you to respond, remember he’s called you to initiate reconciliation.
If you were encouraged by this writing and can share something similar with me, please do. I’d love to hear how God is revealing the truth about our unforgiveness. Please comment on this post and share your experience, or join the conversation on my Facebook Page.