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The Cost of Forgiveness

Jesus assumed that if we asked God for forgiveness we were, in turn, offering that forgiveness to others.

If we are to forgive others, we have to understand what forgiveness isn’t.

Forgiveness isn’t condoning the wrong done.

Forgiveness isn’t pretending it never happened.

Forgiveness isn’t necessarily reconciliation (we’ll talk about that later).

Forgiveness, properly understood, isn’t unjust.

See, when another person sins against us, they incur a debt. They owe us.

Now, when we withhold forgiveness, we are putting the burden of repayment upon them.

That seems right and fair, doesn’t it?

Here’s the problem.

When we sin against the eternal God, we incur an eternal debt – a debt we could never repay in a thousand lifetimes.

So, there are two options.

We can pay the debt ourselves by spending eternity separated from Him.

Or, we can take God up on His offer to pay the debt Himself.

God never condones our sin or pretends it never happened. He pays it in full. He absorbs it on our behalf.

That is what He asks of us. He calls us to forgive others – to absorb the debt they owe us - as He did for us.

Forgiveness always comes at a cost.

It’s not unjust. It’s sacrificial.

Jesus sacrificed His life to pay our debt. We owe Him our very lives – our very eternities.

Can we really do any less than all that He’s asked?

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