I’m big on justice. So was my Heavenly Father. When you’ve experienced betrayal, rejection and abuse; you have a strong liking for justice. Throughout the years when I would get upset about something, Tim would often say to me, ‘You know Rebekah, justice is really important to you.” Heeellllooo? I wasn’t one to try to get revenge but I feel deeply when someone is mistreated or hurt. I guess another word for justice is fair. I remember telling my kids often when they were little, “Life’s not fair.” But down deep inside, I always wanted life to be a little fair. One day I sat down in my living room with my bible and began to flip through the entire bible underlining the word “justice.” I was amazed at how many times it was in the bible. I was truly wanting to figure out what I was supposed to do with my deep desire for justice. The Holy Spirit began to open my eyes to something important. My Heavenly Father cared deeply about justice too. And since I am his offspring, his daughter, his child; then it comes quite naturally to me to care deeply about justice too.
When we teach on forgiveness, I often define the word unforgiveness first. What is unforgiveness? Unforgiveness says, “You hurt me. You owe me. You must pay! You, at the very least, owe me an apology!” Forgiveness says, “You no longer owe me anything. I release you from the debt that you owe me.” HOW CAN WE DO THAT?! The truths that I have been sharing for years are still true. Jesus forgave you totally, unconditionally and with no strings attached. He cancelled out the debt that we owed him. (Colossians 3) We can now cancel out the debt others owe us because Jesus is in us, it is our nature to forgive and He can forgive through us. I’m thankful for those truths that helped me CHOOSE to forgive even when I didn’t feel like it. Forgiveness is for me!
But I want to share a different perspective on forgiveness. How can I say a murderer or a child molester or (you feel in the blank) no longer owes me anything? SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY! Like I stated at the beginning of this blog, the need for justice seems to overtake me. I have good news! SOMEBODY DID PAY!!
Can I let the blood of Jesus cover or PAY for the sin committed against me by others, as well as, pay for all of my sin? When I choose to forgive, I am not saying it is okay that the person hurt me. I am saying, “I will let Jesus pay for your sin against me because somebody’s got to pay.” Now that gives me closure.