DayBreaks for 8/23/18: The Cost of Unforgiveness
(Sorry for the missing DayBreaks yesterday. I got caught at night in a major traffic jam and didn’t get home until about midnight!)
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
When you think of forgiveness, what do you think of? Do you think of your forgiveness by God? If so, you probably think about the cost of your forgiveness, about how many times He has, because of Jesus, forgiven you. Or perhaps, instead of God’s forgiveness towards you, you think about forgiveness from other people, or how you have had to forgive someone else.
Maybe right now you are struggling with being able to forgive someone for something they have done for you. In his commentary on the Letter to Hebrews, William Barclay made these observations about forgiveness: “There is one eternal principle which will be valid as long as the world lasts. The principle is: forgiveness is a costly thing. Human forgiveness is costly. A son or a daughter may go wrong – a father or mother may forgive – but that forgiveness has brought tears. There was a price of a broken heart to pay. Divine forgiveness is costly. God is love, but God is holiness. God, least of all, can break the great moral laws on which the universe is built. Sin must have its punishment or the very structure of life disintegrates. And God alone can pay the terrible price that is necessary before men can be forgiven. Forgiveness is never a case of saying: ‘It’s all right; it doesn’t matter.’ Forgiveness is the most costly thing in the world.”
It is costly to forgive someone else. You have to give up your “right” to be angry. You have to give up your “right” to get even – for revenge and to hurt them in return. You may even have to give up your attitude of being superior because you were the injured party and you know that you would never have done something so terrible to anyone – ever.
But think about the cost of not forgiving. You get eaten alive by your anger, hatred and bitterness. You can’t sleep because your mind is running at full speed about how wronged you were. Your waking moments are consumed with thoughts of how to get even – how to hurt them like they’ve hurt you. But worst of all, if we don’t forgive, we are in danger of being unforgiven ourselves: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt. 6:14-15)
Come to think of it, I don’t know if I agree with William Barclay. After you weigh the evidence, it seems to me that forgiveness may be the second most costly thing in the world. Failure to forgive may be even costlier!
PRAYER: Father, give us hearts that are quick to forgive, not only for those things we’ve done which are wrong, but for those who have wronged us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
PRAYER: Father, help us choose the things that are beautiful to you and that lead to life! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.