Forgiveness is the true miracle cure that is given to the whole world. I don’t think it is possible to comprehend what Christ’s forgiveness means in our lives. We can open its miraculous powers when we entrust the Holy Spirit to release the release the cleansing and healing powers of forgiveness within our souls.
The reason most of us don’t experience the miracle powers of forgiveness is because it goes completely against our sin nature to forgive, thus we don’t fully commit to the process. When Christians try to forgive in their own strength, it dilutes forgiveness’ power. If forgiveness does not improve your soul, you are probably acting without the Spirit’s power.
Shamefully, I have to admit that I know firsthand what happens in my soul when I have forgiven with God’s Spirit, yet still struggle to forgive after being offended. Though it is the most peaceful, supernatural, hopeful, spiritually productive experience of my life, I don’t automatically forgive without conviction from God. What’s up with that? I still don’t have the answer. It makes no sense to hang on to hurts when forgiveness heals me from all the wounds that are inflicted. I continue to struggle but I always get the same results after I finally surrender—a miracle transformation of my soul.
In this season of Lent we are lead to focus on repentance and our own sinfulness. I desire to do this, and I hope that by becoming more aware of my constant failure to live up to the life God invites me to experience that a byproduct of my sin is to bask in the forgiveness that covers my failures.
Though I fail to forgive immediately, I also fail to consider that enormity of my experience of forgiveness. I want to break down the facts of the Lenten season. I want to embrace the utter magnitude of my personal forgiveness. When I think of myself, just focusing on my own sins, I should be overwhelmed to consider that God can, will and desires to forgive through Christ.
I love the story Jesus told about the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18. I get why He told it. I need that story to put my own forgiveness in perspective. I need to see that anytime I am unwilling to forgive I am suffering total amnesia about the boundless forgiveness I have been granted!
The point of the story needs to be first in my mind. In Matthew 18:23 Jesus sets the stage for the story He told:
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
Lent helps me take account of where I might stand when the King of Kings wants to settle accounts with me. When the account books are open, how will I stand? I have absolutely no hope without God’s forgiveness.
This is why I open my soul wide to the Lenten season. It guides me to focus on daily repentance as a preparation for Easter. If God responds to my sinful failures with forgiveness, then I can’t do anything else.