Forgive and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:37

As Jesus continues to teach about the kind of relationships that this world so desperately needs and yet are so ridiculously hard, he moves on from loving our enemies to forgiving others. Forgiveness is not for the faint at heart. This week we’ll look at some of the necessary parameters that make forgiveness healthy and not just an invitation to surrender to injustice or abuse. But we need to start with God’s perspective, which is that at it’s core, forgiveness is how God works.

Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God's own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us. - Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

Sure God wants us to flourish in our lives and therefore gives us commands to lead to that fullness of life, but ultimately God is less interested in the commands than in the relationship. God wants to be with us, and forgiveness is the only way to make that happen. And it’s the same with our relationships with each other - we can’t persist in close relationships unless we learn how to forgive, because inevitably it will be necessary.

So talk with God today and invite God to begin teaching you to forgive the way Jesus forgave. Don’t push yourself too hard to get to forgiveness too fast - there’s a process that we’ll unpack this week. Instead, just invite the Spirit to start preparing your heart for the hard work of being like Christ in the area of forgiveness.