Tuesday, February 20, 2018

To Confess And To Forgive

You face God in both instances. These can be quiet conversations with God. Not necessarily easy.

Forgiveness is not an act of weakness. You are not saying you are too weak to hit back, to take revenge, to get even, or you would. And forgiveness is not losing the ability to see right and wrong. You can't forgive if you don't have the ability to see right and wrong. If you have not been wronged then there is no reason to forgive, is there? In fact the very attempt at forgiveness brings the wrong into sharp focus. And then you let go. Not because you are weak and helpless, but because the God you trust is infinitely mightier than anyone that might have wronged you. And that God is aware of everything that happens. There is nothing that that God can not do. That God is a God of perfect justice. And so you forgive. You throw your burdens on to the shoulders of one whose shoulders are infinitely broad. Forgiveness is an active expression of faith.

Confessing is the mirror image of forgiveness. You are owning up to the wrong that you might have done. And you are asking for God's forgiveness. But that God needs you to pay a fine for the wrong that you did. Ends up the loving God already paid that fine on your behalf. All you have to do is own up. All you have to do is repent. God, of course, realizes you don't really have the capacity to pay the fine. So He paid the fine Himself. He sacrificed His Son. That fine pays for every sin that is owned up to and repented. Because the fine is infinite in size. God the Son was the sacrifice.

Confession and forgiveness are the two tools that will bring down the glass walls of mindless emotional violence in the form of the various isms: racism and sexism and classism and physicalism and heterosexism and various other isms like ablism, adultism, ageism, elitism and so on. Those at the receiving end should forgive. Those at the giving end should confess. Confess again and again. Forgive again and again. And new worlds of possibilities will open up for you.

Both confession and forgiveness can be silent and private. They can also be public and out loud. God has the power to articulate your groans on your behalf. All you have to do is make the effort.

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