Experiencing Forgiveness



Scripture

Mic. 7:18        Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
        and passing over the transgression
        of the remnant of your possession?
    He does not retain his anger forever,
        because he delights in showing clemency.
19     He will again have compassion upon us;
        he will tread our iniquities under foot.
    You will cast all our sins
        into the depths of the sea.
20     You will show faithfulness to Jacob
        and unswerving loyalty to Abraham,
    as you have sworn to our ancestors
        from the days of old.

Observation

God’s love is revealed in these descriptions. He is constantly reaching out to his children, desiring to drawn them back into a healthy relationship with him. As a result, even when he has been hurt, he will forgive them for their transgressions.  In his compassion he will stomp on our sins and remove them far us. His justice will prevail and he will remain faithful to the covenants made with Jacob and Abraham. Through this forgiveness we experience God’s holy love and restoration as his people.

Application
Open and transparent conversation is not always comfortable, and yet, to be healthy it is necessary. I’ve recently been reading a book on leadership called, “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” by Patrick Lencioni. His premise is that far too many organizations worry about tactical skill, but don’t take the time nor energy to invest in being healthy. Being healthy creates an environment for honesty in regard to shortcomings and failures. A place of transparency allows one to “ask for forgiveness” so to speak, be able to make corrections, and move on. The result is that the organization becomes self-corrective and healing and is able to perform at a much higher plane than simply those with technical skills. In other words, an ability to be honest with others allows for the entire team to work toward wholeness and health. However, an inability to admit short-comings, or to feel that you can confront the “boss” with serious concerns may ultimately lead to the demise of the organization, no matter how much talent may be present.

We may be incredibly talented people with numerous skills that God has given us, but unless those are placed honestly before God they may lead us in the wrong direction. God is our loving Father who will gently lead us in the right direction, if only we are willing to come before him in the areas in which we need his help (which is every area — by the way). Experiencing his forgiveness for what we have done wrong does not inspire wrath, but the gentle nudge of a Father who simply wants our best. When our abilities are put under his leading and control — under his gentle nudges of direction — we can become more than our personal talents and abilities would reveal. Instead, we begin to thrive and we become healthy under the loving leadership of the Holy Spirit.

God doesn’t hold grudges, but instead seeks our best. That’s why, when we honestly come before him and ask forgiveness, he moves right on to nudging us in the right direction. He doesn’t dwell on what we’ve done wrong. (And Lencioni would say the healthy organization does the same thing -- doesn't dwell on the mistakes) He stomps it under foot, throws it into the sea and forgets about it. The past doesn’t have to derail the future. Experiencing God’s forgiveness is life-giving and healing. Don’t let pride get in the way of confessing our need for God.

Experiencing his forgiveness is a step toward health. Make a move toward wholeness today!

Prayer

Lord, may I be transparent before you, seeking your help in the areas of my need. Amen.

Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.



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