Are We Able to Forgive as Jesus Did?

Are We Able to Forgive as Jesus Did? August 9, 2023

It may seem like the answer is obvious. But hear me out. 

On my way to the train station this morning, after stopping for a quick bite at McDonald’s and a refreshing french vanilla iced coffee, I spotted a red and white billboard that turned the wheels of my noggin. 

Citing Luke 23:34 in the bottom right-hand corner it read: Genuine Christians Forgive Like Jesus. 

Hmm? Do they?

Firstly, we’re back to the “who is and who isn’t a true Christian thing.” Secondly, no one is greater than his or her master, and when it comes to Christ, neither are we equal to him.

In my opinion, we do nothing like or as Christ does. He performs things to a much higher level of excellence than we do.

Now, if the owner of the billboard message was intending to say something like, “True Christians forgive because Jesus forgives,” then I agree. But that’s not what it said and it’s not how I read it. f I’m wrong about the interpretation, someone can correct me.

I know some eager Christians will say I’m just “picking,” but that’s not the case at all. It’s just that when communicating, I like to be as precise as possible, since it reduces confusion.

Nevertheless, my point is that we don’t tend to forgive as Jesus did.

For example, how many of us would be able to look down from a cross at those gambling for our clothes, hovering over us like vultures waiting for us to die, and feel compassion for them?

Who among us, in the midst of our own physical pain and mental suffering could look at those who’ve betrayed us and those who’ve spit on us, mocked us, and beaten us nearly to death and without any hesitation say, “Lord forgive them?” (Lk. 23:34)

I know I couldn’t. Shoot, I have a hard time forgiving fast food employees or grocery store clerks who wrong me. But here’s the thing, Even though it may take some time, and some situations more than others depending on the depth of the wound, I will always choose to forgive. 

To achieve this state of forgiveness and peace, prayer, or communication with God, is usually required. I’m not ashamed to admit I can’t do it alone. 

The Holy Spirit seems to work under the radar to supernaturally change my heart when I depend on the Lord for help, and the next thing I know I’ve forgotten the whole ordeal. As a result, dropping it and moving on is much easier.

Some forgiveness, however, involves much more. Even so, I no longer hold grudges against people like I did in the past. How come? Not because I’m a genuine Christian but because I’m a child of God, and like any child, I strive to live by my Father’s teachings and guidance. 

And he’s given me Jesus as my example.

Christ’s sandals are hard to fill, but we try our best. Even when we miss the mark, I believe this is pleasing to our heavenly Father.

Though we don’t always hit the target, we strive to live as Christ lived, because he always did what pleased his Father. 

Therefore, we work to forgive, and eventually do forgive, because the Lord forgave us—the ultimate forgiveness.  

**Unless otherwise noted, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and are intended to guide, not replace one’s own conviction and study of Scripture.


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