Why Forgive?

I’m glad I’m not a preacher. I hate to imagine the mess I’d create by trying to tell others how to follow Jesus. I have enough trouble figuring out my own messed-up journey.

I’m also glad I’m not a preacher because I’d probably end up spreading all sorts of heresy. It’s bad enough when I get these weird ideas about God. It’s good that no one actually thinks I know what I’m talking about.

One of my recent weird ideas involves why God wants me to do certain things. For example, why does He instruct me to glorify Him in whatever I do?

I’m thinking that God doesn’t need my admiration or affirmation. He knows who He is. My petty worship does nothing for Him. Why in the world would He care?

I know it’s more complex than this, but what if He cares because He knows it’s what’s best for me? What if it’s not about adding something to Him—a silly notion—but rather about helping me to live the way He made me?

What if the stuff He wants me to do isn’t for His benefit at all? Makes sense, since He’s God and there’s really not much I can do for Him.

What if Jesus’ “servant leader” model is really God’s core character? I have absolutely nothing to offer, but He enters into relationship with me anyway, simply because He loves me. So when God tells me to do everything for His glory, what if it’s not what He needs but what makes my life full and rich, exactly the way He designed it?

What if “it’s not about Rich” isn’t intended to diminish me. What if God’s direction toward an others-centered perspective is precisely what I need to be completely fulfilled?

Maybe I’m nuts. I’d love to hear your thoughts. But how does all of this relate to the title: Why Forgive?

What if forgiving isn’t just an arbitrary command, some capricious test of obedience to see if we’re paying attention? What if it’s really pointing toward the absolute best, most fulfilling life?

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

What if Jesus forgave his killers because He knew it was the most life-affirming, fully human response available? What if forgiving and serving aren’t boundaries but the ultimate path to perfect freedom?

Wow. That’s a lot of “what-if’s.”

I’m glad I’m not a preacher.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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