My children often succeed in not only stretching my patience, by also in teaching me something about the grace of God. One day a few weeks back, my son did something that upset me. I can’t remember what it was exactly, so it must not have been too serious. After we talked about it, he told me that he was sorry. My reply, “that’s okay.”
Immediately he glared at me with intent and replied, “No, dad, it is no okay. You need to say, I forgive you.”
Well, he is right. In fact, this was something that my wife had been emphasiszing recently with him. He was listening! This did make me think, though. When it comes to conflict, there are really two approaches. Forgiveness is an act of intent and purpose from one person to another. Just saying, “it’s okay”, just kicks the can down the road for another time, without ever really resolving anything.
God did not just say, “it’s okay” when we turned on Him and told Him we would do things our way. He said it was not okay and that there needed to be justice. This is where Jesus Christ came in. What God says is not okay in us, He forgave in us because of the way His Son, Jesus, came and rescued us from sin by His death on the cross. Jesus paid for our sin. It was not “just okay.” It was paid for in full.
God looks at us and says, “I forgive you.” That is what we must do to other people also. Whatever the action is that was done to the other person was not okay. If you have been hurt by someone, it is not okay. But, it can be something you release the other person from. It doesn’t mean you forget it, it means you don’t hold it against someone. It means you tell someone that you forgive them for what they have done to you. It is a choice, an act of obedience to God.
So, no it is not okay. It is forgiven. For that I find myself praising God today!