As the preacher today spoke about forgiveness the thought came to me that forgiveness does not preempt justice.

forgiveness1I hear so often people say they can’t (or won’t) forgive someone. The devil has duped them into thinking forgiveness removes any responsibility from the sinner (or sinners).

Let’s announce important news – when I forgive God doesn’t take that as an excuse not to deal with the sin. When God forgives God forgets.

When we forgive something different happens. God will still deal with the sin and the sinner, but I become free from myself!

My human reaction tends toward revenge, sulking, wallowing in the pain caused to me. God’s reaction moves toward reconciliation.

forgivenessNow some will say, “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven’ ” (John 20:21-23 God’s Word).

But even the scribes (experts in religious law) knew Who really forgives sins, even though they rejected Jesus as Messiah, and complained, “Why does he talk this way? He’s dishonoring God. Who besides God can forgive sins?” (Mark 2:7 God’s Word). The answer, only God, but Jesus is God!

So I can’t eliminate sins (God’s job), but I can escape the hold that another person’s sins have on me. When I forgive I accept that God forgives. Even more, if I hold vengeful thoughts or bitterness against another child of God, Jesus postpones erasing my sins! (“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures” (Matthew 6:14-15 God’s Word).

Hold back against others and God holds back on you.

So forgive and get free. Leave the justice to God.