Is forgiveness really for the other person, for self, or could it be an act of love rooted in Jesus?
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
When I woke up on February 15, I'd been feeling the tug to let go of social media for weeks; months, really. But that morning a few confirmations came through.
One was from a mentor who text me something that she was studying and stood out on her heart to share with me. She was in Mark 1:17, and the words "Come, follow me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" stood out. Being the word nerds we are, she looked up the Greek word for come and then to become to share with me.
Things began to stand out to me. When I looked at 'to become,' I saw:
To emerge. Transitioning from one condition to another. Change of condition. State. Implying motion, movement, or growth.
This wasn't just saying the first imperative 'come' as in come hither now, but come now so that you can become. The first come is a physical position, but the second to become is an internal renewing of the mind that impacts how we even see life.
Not only does Jesus call us to follow Him, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind with right reality of who He is.
But it didn't end there. In the next verse, it says they 'left' their nets, which means sent away, let go, released, permit to depart, remitted, forgave, suffered.
That shows an act of will. These called disciples permitted the departure. They chose to let go and release. They effectively let go of the old to become who Jesus was calling them to be, and in order to do that they had to move, or come, into discipleship with Him for renewing.
But that 'forgave' stood out in a sour way. A part of renewing, of accepting Jesus' invitation to become, is to become like Him. And that includes forgiving.
Maybe you've heard things like 'you don't forgive others for them, but for yourself,' or 'forgive so you can move on,' or even 'forgive and forget.'
But Jesus calls us to something so much deeper. And I know that going into this journey, I need to intentionally walk in forgiveness if I actually want to show His love.
When Jesus was on the cross, He asked Abba to forgive those who had put Him there because 'they knew not what they were doing.' When people sin against us, we need to understand that it is in their fallen state and ignorance of their own beautiful identity in Christ that they're acting/responding.
Sure, it hurts, but we know that vengeance is the Lord's. And not only that, but they are not your enemy. This isn't you against them, this is them rebelling against God and it is for Him to handle. We are just collateral.
Don't you cringe at things you did in ignorance and immaturity, even if you knew Christ? Aren't you grateful for forgiveness in those things? Surely, as Jesus taught, if God can forgive us for our unholiness, then we can forgive one another in love and understanding of our fallen nature.
So as I embark on this journey, I recognize I need to walk in a state of forgiveness. For me to 'Come,' I need to leave behind any grudges I've held onto (Mt. 6:14-15). I can't carry that into the journey of becoming.
"Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"