When we read the scripture, forgive and you’ll be forgiven, we see that being forgiven is contingent on forgiving others, right? It is true but it is more profound. We read in the scripture, give and it shall be given to you. Very true, but there is much more to be gleaned here.
I have experienced, forgiving others and giving grace, something much better. I have discovered a profound truth. You can see it in this story. You can read into the contrasting stories of Judas and Peter. One committed suicide in his sin and the other turned for grace and forgiveness. I contend that Judas, unlike Peter was neither abundant in giving grace nor liberal in forgiving others. On the other hand Peter was generous in both regards. I believe this due to the revelation I have received.
As I have ministered to others in the pastoral role and as a friend to the reprobate, I have been forced to be abundant in forgiveness and generous with grace. This isn’t because I’m such a great Christian but it is a matter of necessity when serving. When dealing with the addict or felon you recognize change comes slow and it is arduous for both the minister and the burdened (The truth is change is hard for everyone…I seldom even see “normal” folk up to the task…)
They fall and go back, they struggle and stumble, they lose courage. It is the process of change for them. Only forgiveness and grace can help one struggle and survive and eventually overcome. This is the womb of new birth. It gives the opportunity for true change and redemption.
Over the years, as I have given these the warmth and life of grace, which I have been eager to do, I have gained so much. I did it in faith in Christ that these might have the victory and the satisfaction of a repentant life style. I can see that, as a mere fallen creature, have an abundant capacity to give grace through Christ. This faith permits grace and mercy. Because of this, I can see more clearly something that I was previously unaware.
At first it was a fog and then an image in the fog and now more clearly, I can see the his body and the detail of him reserved for the few. Who are these few? Only those who have been generous and persistent in longsuffering through faith can see this. This revelation from Christ is for those abundant in apportioning that which has been given to them freely, without limit by our Savior: this grace and forgiveness.
As a neophyte in Christ, I had trouble receiving forgiveness from Jesus. I would berate myself for my failures and sin. Yet, I didn’t know it then, It was part of the process, I don’t judge myself for it. It was all I could do, having given so little forgiveness and grace to that point in my life, I couldn’t receive the gift without strain and sweat. Through this process, leading me to where I have arrived, I can now easily receive His grace and forgiveness. In my current state, in this vision, in my current struggles, I can smile and say thanks. It isn’t the antinomian abuse of grace or a license to sin, but a recognition that, if I can give so freely, then God can give even more. He is more willing than me. He gives much more in quality, quantity and sincerity. So cool! I so need it…
Yes…forgive…forgive to be forgiven. This is right. Those who give, more will be given. This is how his system works. But there is something more permitted tot the few, something else is coming for you, a special gift from your Jesus. Those who give more deeply and more regularly without prejudice, will know their Savior. These can more freely receive and their cup runneth over!