Today I’m thinking about everyone who has ever hurt me. I think they should only feel guilty about absolutely nothing. How helpful is it to carry around guilt? Jesus said I don’t have to carry around a bunch of condemnation and I love that about Him.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV).
I think Joseph figured out why there comes a time when having hard feelings stops making any sense.
“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you” (Genesis 45:5 NIV).
He decided to trade in his guilt messages for reconciliation. He forgave them, but also instructed them to not be distressed or upset with themselves. He let go of his brother’s trespasses and then loved them. He knew they walked around long enough feeling guilty about what they did to him. He had now let it go and he wanted them to experience life without feeling bad about their—we’ll call it—youthful indiscretion of selling him into slavery.
I really think the deepest depths of forgiveness are reached the moment that, not only have we forgiven, but we have also desired to see those nagging, guilty feelings disappear in the people who hurt us. That’s a wonderful place to be (in fact I plan to retire there).
Jesus cancels our own debt so thoroughly His forgiveness can, not only reconcile us to Him, but it will reconcile us to ourselves.
It would be my pleasure to extend the same gift of no distress to others who may have hurt me with the accompaniment of this lovely exhortation from the Scriptures…
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6 NIV).
Most Gracious Blessings!