Warning: this blog post might offend you.
I am okay with that.
Lately I’ve heard a number of people say that they have forgiven God, need to forgive God or regularly forgive God so as not to carry offense.
I don’t understand this.
I don’t think it’s even Biblical.
Yet it is through the Christian ‘church’ communities or inner healing ministries that I frequently hear this claim. Or hear someone asking others if they have or need to forgive God.
I challenge this.
Of the roughly 130 times forgive, forgiveness, forgave, forgives or forgiving are mentioned in the Bible guess how many refer to forgiving God?
Zero. Yep that’s right. ZERO.
The Word tells us that He (the LORD) has forgiven us, forgives us and forgave us. That He is forgiving. The Word tells us to forgive and we will be forgiven, to forgive everyone that sins against us, to forgive as the LORD has forgiven us.
So where has this come from? This need to forgive God?
Pop psychology? Entitlement? Wrong teaching? The enemy? Victim mentalities? Poverty Mindsets? Ignorance? Innocence? Misguided view of God the Father?
When we have a need to forgive anyone – anything, can we agree it is because we feel wronged in some way or form?
I don’t argue that forgiveness is for us. It frees us! When we no longer carry offense our hearts have so much more capacity for love!
Honestly, sometimes we are truly wronged by others. People kill people. People hurt feelings, say mean things, abuse others, hurt themselves, leave us, don’t agree with us, try to control us…you know because you are human. It’s happened to all of us. And we have all caused hurt.
John 10:10 is one of my favorite verses. It is Jesus talking in the midst of Pharisees throwing a healed blind man out of the Synagogue. Jesus tells a story about a good shepherd, his sheep, a watchman, a gate, robbers and thieves (Matthew 10:01-10:21).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).
I usually hear these two parts of this sentence taught out of context and often without one or the other part. Either a teaching on abundant life or spiritual warfare.
Jesus made these statements in ONE sentence. To teach one without the other is irresponsible.
Jesus gives us this sentence so we can look at what is happening in a situation, discern whether it is life giving or not and KNOW where it originated from. Is what is happening a reflection of full life – abundant life? Then it is from Jesus. OR is something being stolen (not just ‘stuff’ but also joy, hope, life), is death happening or is destruction at hand? Then it is from the enemy.
Why do we blame God when things go wrong, when disasters happen, when people die? When people don’t do what we want them to? When things don’t go our way?
We have an enemy. Yes, Jesus defeated the enemy – but we are on that same journey and have the same opportunity (in fact responsibility) to defeat the enemy. Daily we get to choose life or death.
We cannot overlook ourselves in this equation of forgiveness. It is not always other people or the enemy that have wronged us. Sometimes it’s ourselves. Do we place wrong expectations on other people? Do we believe that we deserve certain things, responses or actions from others because of who we are or what we have done?
When we need to forgive someone we have looked at three possible origins: other people, the enemy and ourselves.
To wrap this up:
The Bible makes some strong and amazing claims about who God is. His characteristics include: Divine, Incomprehensible, Sovereign, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Holy, Infinite, Eternal, Goodness, Grace, Mercy, Love, Just, Faithful and Wise (obviously this is not a complete list).
God is light. In HIM there is NO darkness AT ALL.
Seriously? You believe the God of the Universe, Creator of Everything, Manifest Holy Goodness, Father of Light, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Lover of your Soul, who died on a cross because HE LOVES you that much –
HE wronged you? HE didn’t give you your way? HE didn’t give you what you wanted?
You forgive HIM?
I’m going to step into firing range here and suggest YOU ask HIM for forgiveness for blaming HIM. Something like this:
Papa, please forgive me for thinking that I should forgive you. Forgive me for holding you responsible for my expectations, for placing blame on you. Father God – show me the truth, give me spiritual eyes to see what is going on here. Teach me about true forgiveness. Reveal to me any areas you are working on in me or that I need to think differently about. Help me move past needing to know why something happened or happens. Help me love you better. I give you permission and access to heal my broken places. Jesus cover me again with your loving kindness. I love you. Amen.
HE is so good. HE can’t wait to meet you here, wrap you in HIS loving arms and walk this out with you: HIS beloved son or daughter.