Forgive and be Forgiven

Originally published Tuesday, 23 April 2019.

Abundance can have a lot of connotations, bringing to mind a bountiful summer harvest or maybe even just a house crammed full of things. Typically it makes me think of holding an overflowing armful of things—because abundance is carrying coats, stuffies, and snacks for three little girls?

Since I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically this year (it’s never too late to join us on The Bible Recap!), for some reason “abundance” brings to mind God’s abundant mercy. Maybe it’s because it’s so contrary to my own nature, stingily extending my forgiveness. My ability to forgive is the exact opposite of abundant. There’s a serious scarcity and I find it incredibly hard. But not our God. 

Psalm 86:15 (NKJV) says,

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

One of the hardest things for me as I journey through the Old Testament verses is coming to grips with God’s unswerving desire for truth, justice, and holiness. He demands it and yet we will fall short. But the key ingredient is God’s mercy.

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all sins into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:18-19 NKJV

Our God delights in mercy and loves to have abundant compassion on us. Throughout the Old Testament, I see God again and again, willing to have mercy and compassion on his people if they will only turn toward him. He asks so little of us and is immediately willing to shower us with his abundant mercy the second we turn our face toward him. Forgiveness does not have to be wrenched from Him. He doesn’t give it begrudgingly “I guess I’ll forgive you this one last time.” He delights in it.

What kind of forgiveness would you rather experience:someone’s disappointed face as they begrudgingly say, “I forgive you” or an “I forgive you” extended with a joyful countenance? Our God actually delights in mercy. He can’t wait to forgive us. What a concept! What a relief!

The love does not end there. God also invites us to join him. The call to us is clear. Luke 6:36  says,

Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

After we have been forgiven, we are then told to forgive. We forgive the snide comments. We forgive those whose choices we are still paying for. We forgive those who have turned on us and instead turn our face towards the abundant mercy that awaits us at the throne of God, for only there do we find the strength to imitate our Father in heaven. Instead of letting the pain fester we allow it to heal by choosing the way of abundance Jesus has offered.


Sarah Clews Headshot

Sarah Clews loves being the wife of Carson and mother to three little girls. She received her degree in English from Corban University and still loves the craft of writing. She also helps her husband run a martial arts school. In her free time, Sarah enjoys talking with grown-ups (!), finding new authors, doing online research, and reading her favorite childhood stories to her girls.