This week’s reading: Hosea 2:14-23 and 2 Samuel 12:1-10
Next week marks the 1 year anniversary since my ex husband decided he no longer wanted to be just that, my husband.
If you recall, I quickly forgave him. Well, as quickly as I could.
I’ve done a lot of reflection over the past week just because that’s what I do. I sit. I think. I reflect.
Sometimes I can get too lost in my own feelings. My own thoughts. I have to quickly find my way back out before it gets ugly, because it will get ugly.
As I read this passage, as always, I felt a range of emotions.
This was the God I knew. The God I was comfortable with. The God who took it on Himself to make me okay. It isn’t ever necessarily anything I actually do to receive His love, mercy and forgiveness, but there He is, always ready to give it out. Even when I don’t deserve it.
Especially when I don’t deserve it.
And then it hit me.
Did I actually forgive my ex husband for what he did to me? I mean, did I forgive him because I know what it’s like to be forgiven or did I forgive Him because I was going to be the better person. Because I was going to show him.
Maybe you’ll disagree, but there is nothing worse than being forgiven when you don’t deserve forgiveness. It can make you feel guilty. Maybe even guiltier than you’ve felt before.
Especially if it’s from someone who is just as broken as you are, but they just want to feel good about themselves and so they forgive you.
Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I struggle daily with God’s forgiveness too because I do not deserve it at all. Not even close, but the only way I can accept it is because if I don’t, well, I’m disregarding everything Jesus did on that cross and, well, I just can’t do that.
So I accept (reluctantly) His forgiveness.
But this passage really got me thinking. Do I forgive others because I want to forgive them or because I want to feel better about myself?
‘Hey God, look! Look what I did! I forgave them! Yeah! Over here! Look!!’
I’m not even sure I know my own motives.
But we know God’s. And these verses just reiterate what we already know.
He loves us. Bottom line. He may not like us all the time. He may be disappointed in some of our decision making. He may hand out some pretty hefty consequences for our sins, but He will never stop loving us.
He doesn’t forgive us because it makes Him feel better. He forgives us because He loves us.
He loves us no matter what.
This past week I was scammed by a gentleman on Craigslist. Oh was I angry. Scammed out of $600+ and I almost lost my iPad. (For those of you who don’t know the whole story there was a happy ending and God performed quite the miracle in returning my iPad.) Y’all. I haven’t been that angry in a long time.
I hated this man. I hated everything about him. I even told him that there was a special place in hell for people like him. See? I told you I was angry.
But as the day wore on. As my anger grew and grew. I couldn’t help but hear God say, ‘but I don’t’.
‘But God, look what he did. Look how he lied. What an awful person to scam a single mother out of her iPad and $600! He’s terrible!’
But I don’t.
As I tried to keep the focus on this wretched, awful man, I realized that I, too, had some unpleasant memories of my own about who I was before I came to learn just how much God loved me.
I never scammed anyone on Craigslist, but I did lie, cheat, steal.
The truth was there wasn’t much of a difference between me and the gentleman from Craigslist except that I now knew just how precious I was to God and just how much He loved me.
And y’all, that changes everything.
So do I still forgive my ex husband because I want to be the good person? I don’t know. My ego says ‘yes’, but my heart says if He can forgive me for everything that I have done, then He can help me forgive those around me.
And it really doesn’t matter what we do, exactly, because He loves us just as much.
And these verses are such an amazing reminder of just how much He loves us and just how much we will be forgiven.
Lord, thank you for always loving us and for always forgiving us. Especially when we don’t deserve it. Thank you for never actually seeing us the way we are, but seeing us the way you want us to be. Thank you for sending your only son to die for our sins so that we may be forgiven. Lord, help us to show someone this week just how much you love them. Because it is true, when people realize just how much you love them, it changes things. It changes everything. Lord, help us to be the example of your love. We pray these things in your name, for your honor and glory, Amen.