God is a Just Forgiver
I have a deep desire for justice. I think hearing and seeing little tiny 5 year old girls stories being sold for sex every night in Cambodia undid me. It is things like that make me long for Jesus' return for when He will right every wrong and rescue every little girl. He will bring freedom to the captives and justice to the oppressor. I long for that day, I long for God's true justice.
But yet He is not slow in coming but wants everyone to have an opportunity to know Him. He is waiting because the suffering of eternity far outweighs the suffering of this temporary world. Right now in history He is extending His hand to offer forgiveness for the offenders, all of us. Us, mankind, who has not measured up to perfection and have offended the living God, He offers forgiveness. But the gift is not our till we receive it. How? By admitting we need His forgiveness because we are not perfect and surrendering our life to Him. When we do, He forgives because He wrathed Himself in our place. He showed His justice on Himself, acting as if He were the offender. He took the penalty so we could receive forgiveness.
Truly He is a Just Forgiver.
But how easy it is to not see Him that way.
There are at least 3 things that keep us from seeing Him as He is:
1. Blame-shifting which starts at an early age. My almost 4 year old son Uriah's first response when he gets hurt is to blame someone. If he trips and scraps a knee, the nearest person (even if 7 feet away) becomes the one at fault through teary screams.
Blame-shifting starts young but it continues to our adult years (if left unchecked and fed) but just better disguised. It looks like a wife calling her husband abusive because he's said a few mean things in the last month, so she feels justified to get a divorce. It looks like cussing someone out in the car because they cut you off. It looks like lashing out at the police for a parking ticket. It looks like a thousand things. What does it look like in your life?
It keeps us from seeing and experiencing Jesus as the Just Forgiver because why would we need forgiving if we have done nothing wrong?
2. Fault-finding. This one is so sneaky because what starts as comparison morphs into fault-finding. When we compare ourselves to others we are looking for faults, either in others or ourselves. And one thing fault-finding does is keep our eyes off Jesus and keeps them set on ourselves and others. The downward spiral continues making us feel better or worse in comparison to others without regard to what Jesus says or thinks about either. It looks like critizing your spouse for not doing things the way you would. It looks like down talking someone for how they are raising their kids. And like blame-shifting, if someone else is always at fault instead of us, why would we need a Just Forgiver?
3. False repentance. Feeling bad for something does not equal repentance. Judas felt bad after he betrayed Jesus, so much so he killed himself. Yet Judas is a picture of false repentance. Feeling sorrow or sadness often can just be a sign you're embarrassed you got caught or sad because you feel shame. So how do you know if you have real repentance? Real repentance is a change of attitude followed by a change of action. Check out your attitude and actions. Use them as a temperature gauge of your heart. Have you admit what you did was wrong or are you justifying it? In real repentance there is no justification on our part. Real repentance leads us to admit we are wrong and sees Jesus as the One who cares about justice. Real justice, the kind where we admit our fault. Real repentance sees Jesus as the Forgiver and is willing to cling to Him knowing He's willing to freely give when we ask.
Oh Lord, help us see You as the Just Forgiver. Help us not blame-shift and justify and be criticizing fault-finders. We can be so easily deceived Lord. You tell us our hearts are deceitful above all things. We are lost without You and Your Word. Help us saturate our minds in Your Word that we would know truth. And we are so grateful for Your Holy Spirit who changes us from the inside out. Lord, You've promised to make us more and more like You and we just can't do it in our strength. Here we are, Yours. Do what You want with our lives Jesus.
Check out the rest of the Wrapped in Grace series:
My list toward 1,000 gifts with Ann Voskamp
#494 For the Lord who is not a blame-shifter
#495 The Lord who is able to help us see clearly
#496 To live now, in this time period with access to His Word and vast opportunities to share it
#497 Sleep outs on the trampoline
#498 Cookie dough ice-cream
#499 Location of our ministry house.
I'm linked up with the beautiful ladies at A Holy Experience, Nebraska Graceful, The Wellspring, The Better Mom, Pause on the Path, Create with Joy, Finding Heaven, Women Living Well, Deep Roots at Home, Heart Reflected