Truth and Forgiveness


My thoughts are spiritual today.  Seriously spiritual.  I’ve been thinking a lot about worth.  Who is worth it?  Why offer forgiveness?  Why give second chances?  I learned the hard way in my marriage and with Slimeball that just because I believe and offer forgiveness does not mean they are worthy of it.  It’s a hard lesson to learn.  It’s even harder to exercise.  Because it is in my blood to forgive.  As Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.”  I’ve tried to live by this for many years.

Why forgive?

When I met Slimeball I was wounded by rejection that led to self-doubt.  Time allowed me to heal.  I saw my ex live his life without me.  Saw him make the same mistakes.  I watched as I forgave someone over and over again hoping he’d end up being “the good” I wanted him to be.  But exposure to more of the same led to a loss of respect.  Through my healing I gained the strength to remove what time had exposed as the truth.

He was not truly sorry.  

Truth is what I’m after.  I want every part of my life to be authentic.  Truth can be cruel though.  Many people want to avoid it.  But sometimes when we get brave enough to unveil it, the truth is undeniable like the brightest light exposing every detail of our depravity.  Some people actively try to hide the truth.  But that is the worst approach possible because it is impossible.

Just own it.

I have a near unending desire to find the good in people.  I wish for honor, courage, and strength.  I want to believe that people are worth the battle.  It’s not that I live with rose-colored glasses.  It’s just that when I leave my purse in a shopping cart and return 15 minutes later to find it sitting in the exact place I left it with all my credit cards and money still there, or when I get a call from a complete stranger who has been taking care of my little dog that ran away for an entire day, I see that good in action.

Sometimes I project that goodness where it doesn’t belong.

My son snapped at me yesterday and he wanted to be absolved without apology because he “didn’t mean to.”  We had a discussion about intention.  The summation of it was that you can intend to do good until the cows come home, but what you actually do is the proof in the pudding.  Don’t lie to yourself in your brain and allow real life to become an intellectual debate.  Actions are real and have real consequences.  That is the truth.  History actually happened and then something else happened in reaction to it.  It’s real.  So don’t excuse it away.

Just own it.

Intention doesn’t make something go away but it helps to know at least there was good behind a bad act.  The thing is you can lie about intentions cause they’re private thoughts.  You can say, “I was just trying to make everything ok for everyone, I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.”  But a reason becomes a vile excuse if you keep doing the same bad thing with the same reason behind it .

When you do act, the true reason behind the action is important.  WHY did you do that?  What if it was something bad?  Was your motivation pride, envy, rage, bitterness, selfishness?  Were you avenging a wrong?  Were you acting as an advocate for someone who has less power or wielding your own power over the less fortunate?

We all have two voices in our heads.  Selfish or unselfish.  Good or evil.  Right or wrong.  How does a person get to the place where something that is obviously wrong becomes the right thing to do?

Why do gang members hunt down innocent victims and translate that somehow to honor?  How does a brain get that twisted?

It can happen and its wrong.  But then, do you just sit there in that place and keep justifying it?  Or do you own it.

Slimeball kept saying to me how he had said he was sorry and was tired of taking the blame.  So okay.  Then stop lying.

Are we defined by our sins forever?  

It depends on what we do with it.  And therein lies whether someone is worthy or not.

Moses righteously killed an Egyptian for forcing a Jew to commit adultery.   He still had to atone for the murder.  David killed to save his own skin.  Bad.  And yet God used him in amazing ways.  David suffered much consequence for his sin.  He didn’t get away with murder.  But he also wasn’t rejected by God for it.

So the ugly truth is there is a dark side.  There is bad sometimes that brings with it pain, suffering, torment..  But it can be forgiven.  There can be release.  But not without repentance.

On a soul level, I don’t know how without Jesus.  All those in the faith who died before Jesus’ death and resurrection were not allowed to be in the presence of God but went to Sheol which is mentioned 30 times in the Old Testament.  There is no forgiveness of sin no matter who ugly or how small without the blood of Christ.

And that is where I always end up in thinking about when to stop forgiving people who have done bad things in general and to me personally.  When do you know you have to start saying no?

There is so much good in this world but when the veil is stripped away.  There is depravity in all of us.  And its ugly.  All of us.  What we do with it is what’s important.  Do we lie to ourselves and say the good out weighs the bad?  Do we excuse it away?  Or do we own it.

Slimeball can lie to himself and say, “I’m a good person.”  which he has said often in defense for his selfish lies.  There is no repentance.  No remorse.  The proof is in the pudding.  He continues to lie.  If he was truly sorry, he’d stop.  And however small or large he sees his sin.  It is what it is.  And time will expose the truth.  And then time will run out.

What makes somebody worth it?  To God we are all worth it.  Thankfully.  But God’s requirements should be the same as ours.  If there is no repentance there is no forgiveness of sin.

People need to be careful.  We need to be careful who we let in.

I for one, would rather stand beside a murderer who is broken in tears with remorse before God than a liar who thinks he’s God’s gift to the world.

The truth is this.  As a Christian I believe this with my whole heart.  None of us is righteous.  Not one.  No one is good enough.  No one is truly worthy and yet we are extended grace and forgiveness anyway.  All we have to do is be brave enough to unveil the truth within us and own it.  And through Jesus Christ, God will absolve us.

And likewise on a personal level, we need to be willing to expose ourselves to the people we love and be brave enough to risk it all for the sake of living authentic lives.  At peace instead of in torment.

So for me…since I don’t know anyone’s heart I will judge on actions.  I will know someone is forgivable who willingly offers the truth no matter how terrible instead of tries to hide from it.

_____________________________________________________________________

Romans Chapter 3

God’s Righteousness Upheld

1Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”

5But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

No One Is Righteous

9What then? Are we Jewsa any better off?b No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For by works of the law no human beingc will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Footnotes:
a 9 Greek Are we
b 9 Or at any disadvantage?
c 20 Greek flesh

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2007. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

One response to “Truth and Forgiveness

  1. Pingback: Propitiation @ Past & Present: Paid! « BibleOpia Blog·

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