But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
- Luke 6:37-38
“In the next part of the petition we pray to be forgiven, ‘as we forgive our debtors;’ that is, as we spare and pardon all by whom we are in any way offended, either in deed by unjust, or in word by contumelious treatment. Not that we can forgive the guilt of a fault or offence: this belongs to God only; but we can forgive to this extent; we can voluntarily divest our minds of wrath, hatred, and revenge, and efface the remembrance of injuries by a voluntary oblivion.”John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, Chapter 20, Paragraph 45, second sub-paragraph
I have heard the word “unforgivable” used lately, a couple of times. In one case, a coach made a stupid decision that cost his team the game. “Unforgivable” might have been said to mean that the coach would or should be fired because of this one mistake. The other was spoken by a political candidate about his opponent. You might excuse this as simple political speech, something that is used to intensify emotions, but otherwise meaningless banter – as in every promise that a politician makes prior to the election. But I think not.
We have a forgiveness problem. One thing, according to Jesus above, that cannot be forgiven is “unforgivable.” If we think something to be unforgivable, we will not be forgiven. God’s Truth will not be in us. Jesus will not be our Savior, because Jesus forgives sin and He will not do so if we cannot forgive our brother. Jesus’ words are clear.
I once had someone tell me things that I had done 20-30 years ago, that this person thought unforgivable. I could not remember the things that were mentioned. In giving an apology, the person was vehement in not accepting any apology. My existence at this point was unforgivable. But in talking further, this person could not forgive themselves. It became a case of atheist psychiatry and medication just to cope with guilt, guilt that could disappear if they had Jesus in their heart and understood what forgiveness was.
As for the employers of a coach who did something stupid, I hope they showed forgiveness. If for no other reason, to prevent the media from forcing them into a corner. As for the political candidate, I would rather vote for Donald Duck than to vote for him, regardless of his use of “unforgivable.” I can forgive him for using the word, but if he really means what he said, will God forgive him? And can I trust him?
In our society, we have the Cancel Culture. Jesus’ words above are the opposite of their culture. We have turned an indiscretion 40 years ago into a reason to be forever banished into the “cancel zone.” There is no room for redemption. There is no room for forgiveness. Mercy does not exist. But then again, those who are condemned are those who disagree with the leftist, Godless banter.
For those who reside on the left of things, there is the blind eye of salvation. If we did not see it, if we can plausibly deny it, it never happened. It’s the George Berkeley concept of what you see exists, but as soon as you quit sensing it, it ceases to exist. Thus, if you are a liberal, then we will deny that you ever had a transgression. What hypocrisy!!!
This “blind eye” is nothing compared to John Calvin’s “voluntary oblivion.” The liberals who follow the Cancel Culture with those who they disagree and treat each other with a blind eye, are selectively refusing to acknowledge the offense as long as others are harmed and not themselves. This cannot compare to addressing the wrong as what it is, an offense, a sin, and then voluntarily casting it into oblivion, the sin forgiven and as much as humanly possible, forgotten.
I have been unforgiven, often. I have had black marks placed in my permanent personnel record for things that I did not do, because others, who wished to save their careers, lied. But once the scape goat was identified (okay, the innocent being blamed – Leviticus 16), the scape goat was never given a hearing. Once, I investigated and discovered the truth. I had proof, but management was content with letting one person’s career go down the tubes, rather than even knowing the truth. Obviously, why listen to the person that we just condemned without hearing his case? Do not all condemned men lie about their innocence?
I thought that I would like to enjoy “justice” just once in my life. There seems to be such a gaping hole in my chest where countless times I have taken the brunt of other people’s mistakes. Why not justice once?
In a prayer recently with that theme, a voice softly spoke and said that my working career was near its end. I needed to let go of the pain, the people involved long forgiven, yet the offense not forgotten. I might still be around a while, but I would eventually be coming home to be with Jesus. Would I then be asking for “justice?”
I cried, “No, Lord, I would be crying for Mercy!”
And the voice replied, “Ah, now you understand.”
Justice is not taking money from someone who treated you improperly, as the lawyer advertisements suggest. God commands us to forgive that person, not demand money from them.
And I must forgive, if my cries on Judgment Day for Mercy will be heard.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.