When You Forgive Someone

We made another getaway trip last week, this time out to KC for a Needtobreathe concert. Taking secret— fiveish people know about it— trips is becoming my norm at this point. We’ve seen Needtobreathe now three of four times in concert and I own all their albums. They are in my Top 10 artists.

I love that they preach Christian messages to the masses. On the lastest album there are some really great, heart-checking songs. This one stood out during the concert and on the way home. Didn’t hurt that I finished up Joel Webbon’s Fight by Flight— which ends on Jonah’s bitterness with the Ninevites preventing him from going to them for fear they would be saved— Sunday morning, went to church and heard one of the best sermons I have heard on 1 Corinthians 13— including addressing bitterness and holding records of wrongs—, and am currently dealing with attacks from multiple directions around bitterness, hard-hearts, and a general need for humble, honest forgiveness.

Week before last our pastor’s sermon was on 1 Corinthians 12 and Spiritual Gifts. The sermon hit hard that we have sanitized everything in the West with Science and while everyone, everywhere, and everywhen has seen major compounding coincidence as a sign from God or an attack from Satan, we tend to explain it away. While I already tended the direction of never explaining away these kinda things, it helped to have a kick in the ass— Balaam’s ass, obviously, Mom and Pastor.

All these mediums pushing me to hear it told one thing was a must. It was a God thing. Last week I wrote to someone to tell him that I forgave him for his actions. That person still hasn’t apologized to me. In fact that person has taken actions to avoid me and has shown no remorse for his actions. But I forgave him. Why?

‘Cause when you forgive someone
You set yourself free

Needtobreathe, When You Forgive Someone

Forgiveness is not reserved for those that have repented, that have changed, that have sought forgiveness and reconciliation. We are to live lives of forgiveness. That’s not easy, but it sets you free.

I got these reasons that I can’t get there
They hold me down like the hounds of Hell
But I can tell you that the journey to justice
It never ends up fair

Needtobreathe, When You Forgive Someone

But justice! They must pay for their actions, pay for what they’ve done to me! God didn’t say the same for you, Christian. No, Christ said “I’ll pay the bill.” Christian, you don’t want justice done for all that you have done and you surely don’t want justice done to your foes. You want them to take a knee before the Throne. Take a knee right beside you. You want to worship God Almighty together with them. If you don’t, go back and read about Jonah. He didn’t want to go not because of a fear of what the Ninevites would do to him, but a fear of what God was going to do to them. If God saved them, they wouldn’t get the justice they deserved.

Is that where your heart is today? I can’t forgive that person because they’ve gone too far. I can’t give them mercy or they’ll do it again. They’ll take advantage of my grace. You don’t understand, James, they have to pay for all that they’ve done. If you understood the context, you’d understand why.


Because God understands all the context of the worst you have to bring. And He gave His Son.

All that’s heavy on my soul
Lay it down and let it go

Needtobreathe, When You Forgive Someone

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