“‘There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?‘ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have rightly judged.’”- Luke 7:41-43
Those who have been forgiven of much, love much.
“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:15
John tells us that to hate a fellow believer is the same as murdering them.
Actually, it’s worse.
It’s worse because you do it repeatedly; you kill their character over and over, you kill their reputation over and over, and you kill their name over and over.
No one possessing the Holy Spirit could ever hate their fellow elect. Anger and disputes are inevitable. But hate? No. The pagans hate. We have a higher calling.
By definition, Christians are striving to be increasingly more Christ-like. Christ personified compassion, mercy, and… forgiveness.
“Without forgiveness, there is no future.” – Desmond Tutu
In hockey & soccer there is a penalty box. Its the area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty for an offence. Get this: sometimes it is called the “sin bin,” or “the bad box.”
Don’t we think that when we sin we need to put ourselves in the “penalty box?” That way we can “pay for it?” Then after a little while, we get out of the penalty box, and go to God so He can forgive us? Folks, that’s the opposite of the Gospel.
Stop punishing yourself! You cannot pay for your sins & save yourself! If you could, Jesus died for nothing (Gal. 2:21).
Paul said the sin he doesn’t want to do, he keeps doing and the things that he should do, he doesn’t do: sound familiar? It should. Romans 7 is the inner-struggle each & every one of us face.
“Recognizing your weakness drives you TO GOD immediately, not AWAY FROM HIM.” – Paul Washer
Instead of thinking that God is mad at us for committing the same sin over and over, focus on His unending kindness. This is what actually leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).
The focus is not what you are doing, but rather what Jesus has already done for you! Its not about YOU, its about HIM.
If we could truly embrace this concept we could get out of our self-imposed penalty boxes and run back into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.