One of the subtle difficulties of forgiveness is its riskiness…
“Though wrong does not disappear when I forgive, it loses its grip on me and is taken over by God who knows what to do. Such a decision involves risk, of course: the risk that God may not deal with the person as I would want.
I never find forgiveness easy and rarely find it completely satisfying. Nagging injustices remain, and the wounds still cause pain. I have to approach God again and again, yielding to him the residue of what I thought I had committed to him long ago”. ~ Philip Yancey
Have we come to rely too much on our all too familiar sense of justice rather than the tougher road of grace? And are our efforts to forgive not often thinly-veiled hopes that God will act as our avenger, carrying out our wishes for us? If so, is this really forgiveness? Is this really surrender? Mark me down under the ‘No’ column.
Forgiveness is far bigger in concept than it is in common practice. I know of what I speak, I have been self-deceived in my efforts to forgive many times. To forgive is to lay down our weapons, to neither demand nor expect justice. To forgive is hands-off. We no longer direct traffic. We exercise trust. We let go, and let God. How he deals with it is none of our business.
Some tough, yet wonderfully freeing medicine I needed to be reminded of today. I need to take a risk when I forgive.