I find that whenever I need to repent and ask for forgiveness of something I’m typically challenged to forgive someone else for an offense that they have committed against me. This seems to be one of our true tests of faith…can we forgive others who’ve trespassed against us?
Immediately upon forgiveness…there just seems to be this challenge…something like a test, the throwing of a gauntlet, a slap on the face with a glove. When we freely receive our challenge is to freely give.
It’s a true test of being a Christian, not the only, but a really good one. When our sins are forgiven, washed away, forgotten…can we then pay it forward? Can we forgive others who’ve trespassed against us? What makes forgiveness so hard? It is definitely no easier nor harder than it was years ago. My theory on why forgiveness can be so challenging is because we live in a world of cause and effect, action and reaction.
We live in a world that demands some type of a response. When given the opportunity how quick are we to forgive? Do we hold grudges, unforgiveness, and anger? As a communications major years ago, one of the concepts we learned in interpersonal communication was that some people tend to save and stock up all of their bitterness and unforgiveness. It’s called the “gunnysack” principle.
The gunnysack principle goes by many names: baggage, luggage, or for some people a moving van! But the truth is that when we are forgiven our trespasses, we’ve got to unpack our grudges, wrestle with them, give them up, and forsake the bearing of our own cross. His burden is easy and his yoke is light!
When we take on the responsibility of being a Christian, we assume an almost carefree attitude that no-one can trespass against us. When all we have is a wallet or a clutch, then we don’t have a lot of room to keep track of offenses against us. I have a book sitting on my shelf that’s waiting to be read called “travelling light”…and maybe I don’t need to read it…but someday I know I’ll need another reminder that in heaven and earth, there’s no room for my luggage!