When the Moravian missionaries first visited the Inuit peoples, they struggled to find a word in their language for “forgiveness”. So the missionaries created a new Inuit word made up of 24 letters:
The word has a beautiful connotation, meaning:
When it comes to forgiveness, this is the very attitude Jesus is looking for. In Colossians 3:13 (NIV) we read: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”.
As the Easter season approaches, it is important for us to keep this in mind. A genuine believer is familiar with both giving and forgiving. Jesus gave all He had and forgave all He could.
Why do you suppose it is important to both give and forgive?
Likely because it is very difficult to love one person while remaining angry or resentful of another person. Bitterness divides the heart and chokes love from our system. It is toxic.
You say: “Wait a minute. You don’t fully understand what I’ve gone through. My father, mother, spouse, boss, teacher, friend, neighbour, coach, pastor, church treated me horribly. They need to pay in some way for what they did to me.” I agree.
But the truth is, Someone already did!
You say: “Hold on a second. They don’t deserve God’s unconditional love, unfailing grace nor my forgiveness.” Again, I’m not going to disagree with you. But if they don’t deserve it…do you?
Before you pass judgement and demand payment, try to recall the last time you broke your word with the Lord. Likely, you need only think back to the past 24 hours. What was God’s reaction to your broken promise?
Max Lucado writes: “The key to forgiving others is to quit focusing on what they did to you and start focusing on what God did for you.”
Let’s all keep re-learning the importance of giving and receiving forgiveness. As we approach another Easter season, as we celebrate the cross and empty tomb, may the marvelous news of Christ’s forgiveness guide our actions in the days ahead.