Mark 2:5, When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
“I said in a previous chapter that chastity was the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. But I am not sure I was right. I believe there is one even more unpopular. It is laid down in the Christian rule, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Because in Christian morals ‘thy neighbor’ includes ‘thy enemy’, and so we come up against this terrible duty of forgiving our enemies.
“Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, as we had during the war. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue: it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of talk makes them sick,’ they say. And half of you already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’”
So wrote C. S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity.
Wouldn’t you agree? – forgiveness is rather easy if it is a minor offense; more difficult when the offenses grow more…well, more offensive.
But forgiveness is nearly impossible to give straight out of the bottle, not when the offender won’t seek your forgiveness, but when the offender wants your forgiveness, but wants just as much to make excuses for their “mistake.” Don’t you really, really dislike (insert ‘hate’ if you prefer) forgiving someone who thinks it was just a small matter? You’d rather they had never approached you in the first place.
This is you. That is me. That is us before Great God, El Shaddai, who is more perfect than any of our best conceptions of perfection. Consider the position God is in when He forgives. He is not one person offering forgiveness to another individual, one here, one there and so on. His forgiveness is not even like one nation forgiving another nation. His forgiveness is not peer to peer.
He is God and what He does He does on the grand scale. When God forgives He forgives worlds. He forgive whole planets of people. He forgives across centuries of people, across millennia of people. When He forgives He forgives humanity.
Billions and billions of forgiveness receipts are in His storehouse ready to be granted to all who will come.
This comes at a cost. Have you considered the price of that kind of forgiveness?
Massive, simply massive.
At age 17 the now famous astronomer, Tycho Brahe, wrote:
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I’ve studied all available charts of the planets and stars and none of them match the others. There are just as many measurements and methods as there are astronomers and all of them disagree. What’s needed is a long term project with the aim of mapping the heavens conducted from a single location over a period of several years.
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Tycho wrote that in the later part of the 1500s.
We’re still mapping the universe.
Have you stared into the universe of God’s forgiveness lately?
Have you tried to map God’s forgiveness in your small life?
In my experience it makes the difference between a bad day and a good day.
It will make the difference between a happy, blessed, rich life and a life…
…just a life.