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Grace Living abundantly

Matthew 18:21-22 – Forgiveness – a must or a reflection?

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – do I hear the command to forgive others or a picture of my true self?
Matthew 18:21-22 NLT
[21] Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” [22] “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Observation

So often we read commands to follow when we hear Jesus speak. And our response can be I can’t do that, that’s too hard, that’s not me. For some of us, we have been so hurt, so often, that there is no way I can forgive. But God is not giving commands to follow, we need to hear with fresh eyes. When God calls us to do something, he is only ever calling us to be our true selves. It’s not a command as such but an understanding of who I am. When he calls me to forgive as many times as forgiveness is required, I am not hearing a direction but I am hearing God sharing his character and hence, as I am made in his image, he is showing me my true self. I am a man who forgives continually without end. It’s not a command to follow in order to get God’s approval or acceptance, it’s a reality check on who I am. When I don’t forgive I’m not being me, not my true self me. Now I am not trying to do something I can’t do, I’m now being me, that is always something I can do. When I know that I am divine-human, I am like God in character, then his calls become a call to be me.
In the call to forgive I also see clearly that God is a God who forgives me as often as forgiveness is required. He doesn’t ask me to be anything that he is not. So God forgives me as often as I require forgiveness. Now that is brilliant news for me, I require its application continually. And it is only from my personal intimate progressive revelation and encounter of personal forgiveness am I shaped to be the forgiving man I am. It is from the reflection of God that I become the true reflection of myself. It’s not a command I understand and obediently follow, that only gets you so far. It’s a personal experience I reflect on and understand as being my true self. Can you sense the incredible difference here? I rebel against commands, I rejoice in being self. There is nothing more personally beautiful and freeing than being able to be truly me, the made in the image of God me. The man who from identity and character naturally is forgiving.


Application

I will know who I am and walk in that skin. I will enjoy the beauty of never-ending forgiveness and be shaped into my true self me by my personal pleasure experience. I will live postured in never-ending forgiveness to those around me not as a command to obey but as an experience I reflect on and a sense of self. I will live in the freedom and beauty of being true self me – forgiving.


Response

Thank you that you only ever call me to be me. You never have commands to be obediently obeyed with the motivation of reward and punishment. You only ever show me yourself that I may walk in personal intimacy of knowing you and discovering me in that encounter. This is a beautiful life.


Meditation

Meditation – the true self you is a person of never-ending forgiveness.
Consider:
How often do you experience the beauty of God’s forgiveness over you?
Is your forgiving of others based on reflection of your personal experience and an understanding of who you are, or is forgiveness a command you must obedient follow?


JOURNEY DEEPER
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