Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The difference is that when a person who wronged us does not repent with contrition and confession and conversion (turning from sin to righteousness), he cuts off the full work of forgiveness. We can still lay down our ill will; we can hand over our anger to God; we can seek to do him good; but we cannot carry through reconciliation or intimacy.I might put it more bluntly - we must protect ourselves from the unrepentant. If someone does me harm and I forgive them, but they are unrepentant, the likelihood of having that harm repeated against me is very high.
Many respond that God's nature is such that He absorbs the blows we send His way time after time, which is true enough, but it also makes me very thoughtful about the unrepented sin in my life. It hurts God.
Now let's be honest - how can we claim to love the Lord our God with all our... and yet hurt Him so continuously?
Let me give you a simple example. I have hurt my wife many times in our life together, but to my knowledge never purposefully so. What I do know is this, when I know I have hurt her, my remorse is nearly boundless. Nothing pains me more than causing her pain.
Should we not feel that way about God? Instead we seem to rely on His grace so much we turn Him into a punching bag.
But the real point is this - such prevents intimacy. I am sure we all have someone in our lives that has unrepentantly harmed us. You may have to have a relationship with them, work, family, something of this sort - but they would never rise to the level of friend or intimate.
So it is with God. Our lack of repentance prevents us from being intimate with Him.
Which forces me to wonder - What kind of Christian is one that is not intimate with the Almighty?