Forgiving isn’t about the other person deserving or not deserving forgiveness –
It is about whether we believe ourselves to be more worthy than another and therefore consider ourselves worthy of judging them –
If we believe that we need mercy just as much as the next guy and understand that we can only receive our undeserved mercy and forgiveness if we are willing to extend undeserved mercy and forgiveness to others.
Yes, it’s easy to say this.
But it isn’t always easy to practice when you see people hurting others, when you see some taking advantage of others, when you see some working hard while others stand by idly offering no assistance.
And this is because there is a voice that tells us that we want justice.
But have we forgotten so quickly where justice would land us? Have we forgotten what we deserve?
So let me be sure that I don’t want mercy for myself but justice for others – because yes, that stinks like the familiar and deadly smell of pride that has tried to hide itself under religious indignation.
Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Does a person have to be honorable in order to be honored? Where would we find such a person outside of Christ?
Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Romans 3:10-12 ESV
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Mark 10:18 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
So we don’t seek out prefect people to honor – no, we would search forever and come home empty handed.
We honor each other even in spite of our weaknesses, because God see fit to honor each and evert one of us with His free offer of Grace, and if Almighty God sees value in others, shouldn’t I?
Matthew 18:10, 12-14 ESV
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
So I should love and honor the brother and sister that I see and know –
as a reflection of the honor and grace and mercy of Christ who lives in me –
understanding their spiritual value either as a lost sheep or as a fellow child of God –
respecting that I have walked in both paths myself –
and that honoring or dishonoring another is a reflection of how I either value highly or disregard as common – this Amazing Grace and Salvation that God has extended to us all through Jesus Christ.
I really need to work on this. Your prayers are appreciated, friend.