“For thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive…..” ~ Psalm 86:5
The Bible records an amazing story on forgiveness. The son rebelled against the father, left home with half of his share of the property, squandered all his wealth in a nearby country, became a pauper, got hired as a servant who fed the pigs then realizing his mistake decided to get back home. And while he’s still a far way off, his father saw him, ran to meet him, embraced and kissed him. He didn’t rebuke or ask questions and ridicule him. Instead he called for a party to celebrate the home coming of his son, put a robe on him, rings on his finger and sandals on his feet. This story is about God’s forgiveness towards us.
God’s forgiveness is not the kind that rebukes, ridicules, intimidates or stigmatizes the offender. It is full of grace, uplifting, re-instating, encouraging, comforting, strengthening, and renewing. The father expressed forgiveness towards his son even before the son asked for it. He ran to meet him, embraced and kissed him. How was he able to do this? Because he had already forgiven his son in his heart. And these gestures flowed out of the love filled in his heart. He did not rebuke, ridicule, ask questions or stigmatize his son. He did not make the son feel low about himself or indebted towards the father. Instead he put on the robe, the rings and the sandals, symbolic of the renewed trust and relationship.
God is ready to forgive. God is always willing and prepared to forgive us and we should have the same attitude towards others. It’s an attitude that dispossesses the forgiver to be in a position to offer forgiveness even before the offence is committed. It’s not an instantaneous decision based on circumstances, or the degree of remorse or the level of repentance expressed by the offender. It’s an offer made out of love and not a reaction. A parent is proud and glad when a child reflects certain of his own good qualities or character; likewise God is pleased when we reflect His forgiveness towards others, forgiving them as we are forgiven – readily.
“Dear Jesus, Lord thank you so much for Your forgiveness to me. I am so blessed beyond measure. May Your forgiveness flow through me to others too. Amen.”