God ties people to our very destinies through forgiving. Purposefully He brings souls into our lives to offend us in order for us to forgive them. It’s a trust that He gives to us. He does this because He knows we’ll eventually allow His integrity to do the work of forgiving. So, if there’s someone in your life that’s continually infuriating you…know this: it’s a privilege He’s entrusted to you. Oh JOY!
Forgive Here and Forgive There
If you walk on this earth you will encounter irritating people. They abound in every nook and crevice of this planet. If you’re free of this, it probably means you’re Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway. But then it would be you who was irritating, so my point still stands (laughing). Who knows? You might meet me and say I am irksome. This is just a given for us all – we will be annoyed and aggravated by people.
But in this post, I am speaking of something beyond just the expected annoyance. I’m writing about our individual life assignments, not just the casual meetings. Sure, I have to be forgiving towards everyone, but I’m talking about the people God has specifically tied to your very destiny.
Entrusted with Forgiveness
Who are they? It could be a parent, sibling, spouse, boss, co-worker, business partner, disciple, friend, etc. I think you get the point. It’s someone I have active dealings with, either through history or present involvement. It’s the people who usually have access to my heart or life in a deeper way, and there is the tie. I’m bound with God’s cords and in my forgiveness is our freedom. The assault has been personally directed, but it’s not personal. You’re chosen to bring Christ’s message and bear this person’s attack and resistance as well.
Often these people are offensive to more than just you. These people have taken their lives out on every passerby they meet. But then again, maybe you’re the singular focus of their particular cruelty. These parties walk the face of the earth like lost souls, haunting and defiling. They carry baggage like a caravan across the Sahara and deposit their cursed goods on their choice of recipient.
I have seen this be about a father who makes everyone in the family pay while acting like the greatest guy to outsiders. Or that wounded woman who sees her abusive mother in every female face. Each situation is as individual as the persons involved. The common core is God’s choosing of you to be an ambassador of forgiveness.
You May Be the Only One Forgiving
Maybe no one else will forgive them. Maybe no other soul will give them true forgiveness but you. And because you are His, He wants to use your life to bring His forgiveness. You’re the living ambassador of the work He did on the cross. You’re called to deliver the message with life more than words. You’re Christ’s extended reach and conduit to bring the reality that they WERE forgiven and ARE forgiven.
The Spirit will have to walk this out in your life. It may involve words or possibly not. It may bring about life change, or perhaps not. Like I said, the situations are as unique as the individuals. But your very living destiny will rest in the issuing of this forgiveness. You are bound to its delivery. Your very life is in the balance. And this is not a punishment but an entrustment. God has entrusted you with the work of forgiving. His own integrity will be represented through your life. You will be the one who gives His gift, received or not. And at the end of the age, your living example will be the evidence to these souls that God reached out to them. They will be without excuse because you let the Father forgive them through you, whether they receive His gift or not.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors: God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT
* In 2004 Martha and I traveled to Slovakia. While there we delivered messages that were broadcast across the country via radio. This region was ransacked by the former USSR leaving it’s beauty dim and riddled with damage. All of the women we encountered living during this post-war season had been assaulted in the course of the pillaging. Their lives were devastated and the need to forgive is huge. Forgive, Forgive is the 2 CD series capturing this message offering hope and grace while challenging to embrace forgiveness for our own destiny.