“I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit… (Isaiah 57:15, NAS).”
The last two posts discussed the topic of humility and forgiving self. That brings us to the subject of forgiving others, be it minor infractions or heinous crimes committed against us. It is completely astonishing how people can walk for many years claiming the grace of God, but never forgive that one person in their life they deem “unworthy” of forgiveness When you begin to see through new spiritual spectacles, your heart will begin to melt for the offender as God’s heart melted for His offenders – you and I. It does not mean a person (or group of people) was justified in their actions; it means that you are now able to extend mercy and grace as Christ extended it to you.
Mercy is not being given something you do deserve (punishment for a crime). Grace, on the other hand, is receiving something you don’t deserve (a pardon). Like the woman in Matthew, the more forgiveness (love) you begin to realize you have been extended from God that you do not deserve, the more forgiveness you will begin to pour out to those who equally do not deserve it.
Isaiah 57:15 listed above is clear. God abides in two places: I dwell on a high and holy place (heaven), and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit (the one humbled before God). When you lower yourself, you will then be lifted up where Christ resides in the heavenly realm. One cannot be lifted by God lest they first lower themselves. You must see yourself from God’s standpoint. When you see yourself as better than someone, you have lifted yourself and you will have to be lowered; either by your own hand or the hand of the Almighty. The choice is yours. It’s simple mathematics.
Let’s say though that no one offended or harmed you personally. Maybe they just have a different skin color, nationality, speech, style, amount of money (less or more), etc. All over the world there are nations against nations because they don’t believe the same way. Do you think yourself better than a Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, Indian, Catholic, Baptist, etc? My Hispanic friends tell me that there is rivalry between Latinos: Spaniards, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and others. What about African Americans where the lighter skinned people think themselves better than darker skinned or vice versa? I believe it’s called colorism. Of course there is the ever common white against black. The list of prejudices is a bottomless pit. If you think yourself better than anyone, it is pride and God cannot grant you grace.
It’s time to understand the without forgiving others, you cannot be forgiven and without humility, we cannot forgive. They are inseparable. Then with this understanding, we need to learn how to forgive as Christ forgave wicked mankind. Then the next step is to purpose to apply it to everyone in your life. These aren’t my rules, but those of your Creator and the One who loves you beyond measure. There is nothing He commands from us that isn’t first for us.
“YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE, YOU who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, YOU ARE CONDEMNING YOURSELF, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1, NAS).
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But IF YOU DO NOT FORGIVE OTHERS, THEN YOUR FATHER WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS” (Matthew 6:14-15, NAS).
I hope you’ll come back next week for part IV as we continue to explore the subject of forgiveness that can only come from humility.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
Categories: BLOGGING WISDOM