Relationships can’t work without a spirit of forgiveness. This is so true and it is the heart of the gospel. Until we recognize how great a sinner we are and how great a savior Jesus is we will not have a truly humble heart of forgiveness. God told us “do not let the sun go down on your anger” for a reason. We will not have peace unless we deal with unforgiveness. We are commanded to seek and grant forgiveness daily! Jesus has forgiven us our great debt, we should be able to forgive our brother’s small debt. “Should you not also have compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?...So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matt. 20:33, 35
Nancy Leigh DeMoss said, “Too many of us live with a chip on our shoulder, as if the world owes us something. “You ought to do this for me. You ought to serve me. You ought to meet my needs.” But the humble heart – the grateful heart- says, “I don’t deserve this, and it’s an amazing act of grace that you should minister to my needs.”
I thank God for His redeeming grace. He is a God of reconciliation. Man rebels, God forgives, man rebels, God forgives, man rebels and God forgives. Over and over and over again! God redeemed us with the perfect sacrifice of His own son. How could we not forgive when we compare our rebellion and hatred towards God and His forgiveness towards us. Nothing compares. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we could become the righteousness of God. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride. It is a picture of forgiveness.
Concerning marriage, Elisabeth Elliot said in her book, Let Me Be a Woman, “You marry a sinner. There is nobody else to marry. Acceptance of him(or her)-of all of him-includes acceptance of his being a sinner. He is a fallen creature, in need of the same kind of redemption all the rest of us are in need of, and liable to all the temptations which are “common to man.” One of the silliest statements ever to catch the public imagination came out of that silly movie Love Story_ “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” If it doesn’t make you sorry to hurt somebody you love, what in the world would ever make you sorry? You do need forgiveness. You do need to forgive. And it is a wonderfully healing thing to confess your sin to the one you’ve sinned against and to ask for his forgiveness…. So_you marry a sinner. And you love, accept, and forgive that sinner as you yourself expect to be loved, accepted, and forgiven. You know that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” and this includes your husband (or wife) who comes short, also, of some of the glories you expected to find in him. Come to terms with this once and for all and then walk beside him as “heirs together of the grace of life.”
Luke 6:35,36 says “He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful just as your father also is merciful.” God has called us to be imitators of Christ. The biggest need we have as humans is to be forgiven by God and to forgive one another. I praise God for His amazing grace that He would forgive us and he would lavishly pour out His grace on us that we could forgive others. “ Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”