While We Were Still Sinners Christ Died for Us
“But God demonstrates his own love for us, in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
For years I struggled with forgiving someone for something. I could forgive them for the past, but they kept sinning against me in the present, doing the exact same thing I had already forgiven them for. I was judgmental of them often saying, “Really? Again? Well, I’m done.” I thought I could just cut myself off from them to save myself the agony, but that only made resentment grow.
Then, when I would allow myself to be around them again, I just got angry, hurt, and exasperated, often saying unpleasant things (not aloud – but always in my head.) I basically, stood at the door of my heart and judged them harshly while I had to be around them because they were “still” committing the same sin from yesterday and the day before, and the day before that. And, it was a family member….
God brought amazing healing for me when I read The Bait of Satan by John Bevere. I learned about true forgiveness and I began to walk in the truth of forgiveness for the first time in 36 years. Very soon after I was set free from this, I began to notice many people struggling with the same thing with which I struggled. They would say, “Well, it’s the same thing over and over again; I’m not trying to judge them – but c’mon, really?”
I tiptoed around their hearts for a bit because when we are in a lot of pain over a continual offense done against us, you can’t just walk up to someone and say, “You should really get over that. God says forgive –so forgive and move on.” It’s not that easy – not when we attempt to do it in our own will-power. I was talking with God about this while driving to Atlanta early one morning. I said, “God, heartbreaks can be so deep, and when those we love such as parents or spouses or friends keep hurting us in the same way over and over again, it’s so hard to just ‘move on; it’s hard to move on when the sin continues in the present.’” God said, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. All of a sudden it hit me, Jesus died for us while we were doing the same thing over and over again, and He truly does expect us to do the same. In fact, Paul tells us, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 1:13)
The key, however, is to remember that the Holy Spirit does the work when we are submissive and turn it over to Him; we have to be willing, however, to relinquish our control over the situation and the person. So many of us (and I did it for years) want to try to control and hold onto the pain by judging the person; all this does is keeps us in a prison of unforgiveness. It’s too much for us to bear – this is why Jesus bore it all on the cross – while we were still sinners.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 19 April 2016.