Step Two: Aggressive Forgiveness – Grace
… with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace …
ROMANS 5:20 (THE MESSAGE)
Step one for me was to make a vertical transaction with God – asking God for His forgiveness for my sin and forgiving he who had sinned against me and hurt me deeply. I brought this before God because I knew that only through God’s power I would be able to forgive and then ultimately be healed.
This step did bring healing to my heart and allowed me to see my offender’s sin against me through the eyes of God with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. Only through the eyes of grace could I truly forgive him with no desire for revenge or justice. It was only then that I could move forward horizontally to meet with my Christian brother – ask him to forgive me for my part and move on with grace for him whether he repented and asked for forgiveness or not.
The truth is that he never repented or asked for forgiveness but I walked away from meeting with him set free – set free from the hook that had hold of my heart for way too long. I had forgiven him with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace.
I actually feel sad for him that he has not been able to receive the same healing that I did. I had attempted for reconciliation and have continued to do so but to no avail and I am at peace with that – I carry no bitterness. I truly do love him but it is only because of God’s love and grace for me. I am grateful I learned that …
Grace always invites rather than demands reconciliation. An apology may push the issue away for the moment but it won’t heal a relationship, and it rarely solves any issue.
The courage to refuse quick fixes and to engage long and vulnerably enough to woo honest, humble reconciliation from the depths of our new hearts … this is the work of human beings loving with the love of Jesus.
THE CURE (JOHN LYNCH, BRUCE MCNICOL, BILL THRALL)
Maybe you, too, have been hurt deeply and have been carrying that hook in your heart for way too long. May I encourage you to take the vertical Step One bringing your pain and unforgiveness before God – He knows and understands. Only He is able to give you the power to forgive and then take the horizontal Step Two of the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. Through God’s Grace there is life …
Grace, because God is putting
everything together again through the Messiah,
invites us into life—
a life that goes on and on and on,
world without end.
ROMANS 5:21 (THE MESSAGE)
On the Journey with You,