OK, I haven’t been keeping up with my promise to blog about this every day, but I am reading through this every day and talking about it with my good friend Brad on a weekly basis. Last night, we talked through day nine in Piper’s book which talks about how Christ’s Death allows for our forgiveness.
Usually one defines forgiveness as something that’s all about grace from the perspective of the one recieving it rather than the one giving it- if my mortgage were forgiven it would mean that I wasn’t required to pay any longer (self-centered). In the case of Christ’s Death, we’re talking about ultimate forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness means that we don’t have to worry about the eternal consequences of sin (self-centered).
But we rarely think about what forgiveness COSTS the person giving it.
When we teach our children to forgive others, we tend to leave out the part about how much it costs the person doing the forgiving. We focus on letting the other person off the hook instead of on the person forgiving and on the incrimental costs associated with when a real debt is forgiven.
If my mortgage were forgiven it means that I don’t have to pay it back, sure, but it also means that the bank has to give up the right to collect money from me. Money that they shelled out in the first place. They lose out. It costs something.
It costs something when God forgives sin, too. He’s got to figure out a way to punish sin because that’s the cost that sin requires. Pouring out that cost on His son was the only way for Him to truly enact grace to us.
On a more personal note, I’m beginning to realize that if I tell someone that I forgive them, it’s gotta cost me something. I can’t just blow it off when someone truly lets me down. In order to forgive, I have to truly give up the right to feel angry at them or stew about it. Otherwise, it’s not actually true forgiveness, is it?
Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.