Every Day Light
"' forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (v. 32)
For reading & meditation:
We must spend another day considering whether or not it is a condition of our salvation that we first forgive those who have sinned against us. We said yesterday that to believe this contradicts the teaching that we are saved by grace, through faith. What, then, is Scripture getting at when it seems to encourage us to forgive in order that we might be forgiven? I think it refers to the matter of realised forgiveness. I know many Christians, as I am sure you do, who, although they have been forgiven by God, are never really sure of it. And one of the major reasons for this is that they have never taken the steps to get rid of the resentment they hold in their hearts toward others. The problem they experience in not feeling forgiven is not God's fault, but their own. He has forgiven them on the basis of their own personal repentance, but His forgiveness is unable to reach the centre of their spirit and dissolve their feelings of guilt because they harbour an unforgiving attitude toward others. C.S. Lewis said something similar in relation to praise. He explained that we do not really receive something unless we give thanks for it. The very action of saying "thank you", and meaning it, opens up the spirit to a true sense of appreciation. In giving thanks, something moves inside the centre of our spirits and allows the wonder of what has been done for us to invade us. It is the same with mercy and forgiveness. When we adopt these attitudes toward others, we not only express mercy and forgiveness - we experience it.
O Father, I see that You have fashioned me in my inner being for mercy and forgiveness, and when I demonstrate it, I allow it to invade me to my deepest depths. I am so grateful. Amen.
Come to http://www.cwr.org.uk for more inspirational devotions by Selwyn Hughes.