God does not forgive. Maybe.


Don Merritt posted a beautiful piece on Forgiveness: “Forgiveness is All About Love” – http://lifereference.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/forgiveness-is-all-about-love/

Don was ticking boxes. He does that a lot when I read his words of God.

And without any warning or invitation from me, I found a foundation stone of “all things God” moving quite alarmingly. Does that ever happen to you? In fact I was feeling a little queasy. Was this thoughts of me, lucifer, or Him. It was definitely my frequent companion called Doubt. Because the essence of these thoughts was: God does not forgive.

Let me just write that one more time – amidst the sensory stuff, the thought in my head was clear: “God Does Not Forgive”

My Paul Brain half expected lightning bolts. My God Brain continued twirling these thoughts. My Paul Brain so often doesn’t speak God Brain language. Which makes my Paul Brain very uncomfortable. And right then, as best as I was able … I was not able.

It was only after a very full and busy working day, a last minute “work” interruption to dinner, and an evening on the sofa watching tv, and some mind-numbing Candy Crush thrown in for good measure – only then had these two brains figured out one language.

The result was this …

In its truest form, Love does not forgive, has no need to forgive, has no concept of forgiveness. Because Love does not recognise a “slight” or “offence” or the long litany of slights and offences we can all recite so easily. Love in its truest form can not. Does not. Will not.

So if Love does not “need” forgiveness, then why is there so much Godly focus on that word? Because forgiveness is everywhere (like in the Lord’s Prayer kind of “everywhere”). Jesus taught us His preferred prayer and told us to say: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

And that is a true “of God” foundation stone if ever I saw one. There in black and white. Ask Me to forgive you. And you forgive others. Forgive and forgiveness. God does it to me, so I am to do it to you.

Yet still my God Brain insisted: “God does not forgive.”

And here is what took all day and evening to brain morph:

When I need to be forgiven – or when I need to forgive – that very “need” is a barrier to Love (and back came some very early thinking). Need is a transaction. It is a measuring – in this case – of a wrong. Either by me, or to me. And so long as that transaction is operative – then that very transaction, that very need, distances us from Love. Shorts out Love. Stops Love. Stops union and is just another barrier of our own making between Him and us. And the act of forgiveness … is our only way to remove this barrier. The very act of forgiving … is the only way we can un-distance ourselves.

Now I have always viewed God’s “forgiveness of me” as something He determines, that He hands out, that He gives me. That I do not deserve, that I cannot earn, and morphs so easily into “Grace Freely Given” … yet all the while remains – at a very deep and unacknowledged level – a deep-seated and lingering debt.

And looking at that dark corner of my soul – it is in the form of an “I Owe You” – and looking more closely – it is an IOU I keep refreshing. With a “Not collected – yet” attached to it.

And circling that bunch of wagons …

I find I often compensate for this “unspoken IOU” in praise and worship, fear and trembling, bowing and scraping, reverence and God-speak. Offsetting “the debt” without even acknowledging it. None of which really removes any barriers or distance. In fact the opposite. the reality is to lay and concrete-in some parameters for keeping a safe sliver from Him – no matter how wafer thin the sliver. Any sliver of distance is to be “distanced.”

And maybe God doesn’t dole out forgiveness from a God sized vat of forgiveness. Maybe Love in its truest form has no vat of forgiveness. There is no need – therefore there is no vat.

And maybe the act of forgiveness is us giving ourselves forgiveness. Because maybe it is the only way we can remove our own barrier to Love. It is our own mechanism for un-distancing ourselves from ourselves – and Love – and each other – and God.

Maybe.

My God Brain stopped there. My Paul Brain said thank you.

Because if you pursue the implications of “God does not forgive” … has no need to forgive … it unsettles quite a few other very reassuring foundation stones. Like in a “God just got a zillion times bigger and more incomprehensibly beautiful than the trillion incomprehensible beautiful HUGENESS He already was” kind of unsettling.

Because here I am with my Paul Brain, and here He is with His God Brain. And He thinks my Paul Brain can handle this stuff?

In Him we trust.

Because this small brain I carry around … He gave me that.

Hello wobbly foundation stones! πŸ™‚

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37 thoughts on “God does not forgive. Maybe.

  1. Pingback: Bonus Post: The Forgiveness Secret | The Life Project

  2. Thought-provoking post, Paul. Thanks. I Cor. 13:5, says “Love… keeps no record of wrongs” (done to it, that is.)(NIV). Romans 4:8 says “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (KJV) “Keeps no record” and “impute” come from the same Greek word logizomai, an accounting term meaning to reckon. If God doesn’t reckon sin to those who are in Christ, He has nothing to forgive. If we don’t deal with it, however, it will still do damage, like poison…

  3. Beautiful post, Paul. I agree in huge part… Particularly because of 1 Corinthians 13… that “Love” section. When we take “Love” to be a Name of God, then that entire section references God’s nature. (That sermon I’ve heard countless times.)

    But you take it to the logical next step… In that God does not account a wrong suffered, then God has no need to forgive. I accept that as being both logical and THEOlogical necessity. Yes. Conclusion unavoidable.

    Yet, when I sought to embrace and subsume this as Truth, I was met with the realization that Jesus said from the Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

    I accept THAT as Truth, as well. OK, so… if both things are true, how do I find the God perspective to understand them? And it rather came down to your mantra, your root maxim… “The answer is Love. Now, what is the question?”

    In that God, of Himself, has no “need” to forgive… why did/would Jesus speak those words and bless us with His forgiveness and petition of the Father?

    I came to two conclusions, both of which can be described as “Jesus delivering to us a gift (grace) from the Father.”

    First, Jesus SAID THE WORDS! Man was in the very process of crucifying (murdering) Him. Man needed to “hear”, needed the vibrations of spoken words set forth in our time/space/universe the Jesus Himself released us from the debt, the wrongness, of this act… and bound the Father in this release as well.

    Second, Jesus did not “specify” what we were to be forgiven for… it is an “open ended statement”… a “blank check” as it were. From the Garden to the end of time, people are capable of bringing evil into the world through our hearts. Jesus became all sin for all time on the Cross. That was a Cosmic Event… a Divine Singularity. I believe He “set things right” cosmically… defeated darkness forever… put all enemies under His feet… in the sense of bringing forth Absolute Light in His sacrifice and redemption. It’s not that GOD has the need to exercise forgiveness to satisfy any agenda of His own… but rather than MAN needs to receive such forgiveness superabundantly provided as gift by God (along with the Cosmos), to realign it (and us) in the redeemed, Family, destiny He has always held for us.

    That may make no sense, but it’s hard to find the right words. Bottom Line: God, of His perfect Love Self, has no need to forgive. But we, of our frail and fallen selves, subject to remorse, memory, shame… WE have need to receive forgiveness. Hence, God provides that for us… of/from His superabuntant Grace.

    Whatcha think? Not sure if I’ve said what I mean rightly. But I love the post completely. I agree completely with you.

    Grace — LM

    • Hiya LM, as always you are most generous. Thank you.

      Tonight this Paul Brain is worn out. Rather than add words now, I would like to come back tomorrow, and commune properly. Thank you.

    • “That may make no sense, but it’s hard to find the right words. Bottom Line: God, of His perfect Love Self, has no need to forgive. But we, of our frail and fallen selves, subject to remorse, memory, shame… WE have need to receive forgiveness. Hence, God provides that for us… of/from His superabuntant Grace.”

      LM, your words make perfect sense. And what has been noticeable in the comments here is something rather beautiful. That – much like forgiveness itself – we all wish to be acknowledged. That what we think and believe and live by and for is acknowledged as worthwhile. The different emphases and thoughts all seem – to me – to be of One. Expressed differently, using different key points. Some using verses, others not. Some in agreement, some not. Yet that is not “the point” – the point is not to have something we agree with and on to the last detail.

      Because the one word which stays with me from your comment is “realign”. Not as a correction from God, not as an instruction and a must do. But as unification. As wholeness. As healing. And in a very individual and loving way. Precisely the perfect response at the perfect time in the most perfect way – for each of us. No matter where, or where, or why. All we have to choose is to allow.

      Realign! I like it a lot! Thank you!!

      πŸ™‚

    • “Truthfully, that is when I finally relaxed – when I realized that I had no control over tomorrow.
      I was either going to live or I was going to die. It was really as simple as that.
      Kind of like boiling potatoes – not really much to it – just a mater of time.
      I stopped being a patient worrying about dying and became a patient thankful I was still alive. Did you know, doctors think that’s pretty important?
      hmmmm – must be why God has told us not to worry about tomorrow huh?”

      Thank you PP. πŸ™‚
      That is a very lovely comment (amongst many lovely words on your own blog!!

  4. Paul, you make my Mel-brain hurt along with your Paul-brain sometimes but my God-brain says, yes! Amen! Great post. God’s love is so much more than we can imagine. πŸ™‚

  5. Interesting discussion between the Pauline and God brains. But not sure if we can push it that far in that “God has nothing to forgive”. I think God does have something to forgive, yet in the face of it he “imputes”, credits us righteousness and holiness! I have sinned a lot, but God has forgiven all! He relates to me as if I hadn’t sinned, but that is only possible because my sin is imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to me (Col 3). The exceedingly sinfulness of my sin, all the more makes Gods grace more precious and amazing.

    • Hiya Franklin – and thank you for your words. “But not sure if we can push it that far … “? Amen brother, amen!
      What He seems to invite of me is questions. What He seems to enjoy of me is touching. What He keeps on giving back is love. And if that rocks your boat in the way it rocks mine … or if it doesn’t … He is plenty big enough!
      We all are in the same “orchestra” – all making different sounds and (if we all look at the same One) – all making such beautiful music together!
      “The exceedingly sinfulness of my sin, all the more makes Gods grace more precious and amazing.”
      You make beautiful music!! Thank you.
      πŸ™‚

  6. Very, very interesting! Thank you for this.
    Here are some jumbled first thoughts on this – which may lead up a cul-de-sac!
    In one sense God doesn’t NEED (I’m not shouting, but can’t underline!) anything from or for me. He can get on just as well without me as with me – though word has it that he would certainly prefer to latter for all of us. So he doesn’t NEED to forgive me. That is confirmed by his love “keeping no records or wrong” – the slate is wiped clean (thankfully at least daily).

    The other linked thought I had is about the mention of forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer. We need to remember that Jesus was not giving us a set of words to say, parrot fashion. He was responding to being asked to TEACH us how to pray. Effective education doesn not happen through repetition of a set of words. Indeed, in some translations Jesus tells the disciples to “pray like this”. I don’t think the Lord’s Prayer has one phrase about God forgiving me (i.e. something he needs to do) and a second phrases about me forgiving others. It’s really only one concept.

    This is when these two strands come together in my Keith-mind! I NEED to forgive others (because otherwise, I’m good at holding grudges and tainting the whole of my relationship with that person since I am not full to copacity with love – as God is). So the phrase about “God forgiving my sins” is not a bout what he needs to do, but is about what I need to recognise in my God/me relationship so that I know what to reflect in my me/them relationship – where I’ve got toe learn how to forgive. So it’s a bit like what Einstein said about the theory of relativity. It all depends on where you are. If you’re in God space, then forgiveness has not currency. If you’re in me (or you) space, then we need it and must show it – just like, from our perspective – God has shown it to us.

    I’ll stop there in ths rich seam of theological coal lest I start to overmine. More thinking to be done! Thank you. Blessings.

    • Keith, knowing how the reading hurts(!!) – your words mean a lot. Thank you.

      “So the phrase about β€œGod forgiving my sins” is not about what he needs to do, but is about what I need to recognise in my God/me relationship so that I know what to reflect in my me/them relationship – where I’ve got to learn how to forgive.”
      The odd thing I am seeing is this:

      Words have power. Words have unique properties. And whilst we like to think words are universal, the finesse and subtlety we each attach to words and “our own meaning” is diverse.

      Nothing you have written I would disagree with. Now ain’t that moving us both into the territory of “weird shit”? More thinking to be done – now that has power!

      Thank you my weird and wonderful brother and friend!
      πŸ™‚

  7. Your post is delightfully Shakespearean in prose. However my little ‘Pea’ brain thinks perhaps your ‘Paul” brain has over rationalized this ‘God needs not forgive’ situation.
    If God loves so much there is no need for us to forgive, what are we to do about ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ where we are told to ask God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors? Jesus surely wasn’t talking about loans there was he?
    What shall we do with Matt. 6:14-15 “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” If we have no need of God’s forgiveness, what ever shall we do with Rev. 20:11-13 and the Great White Throne Judgment?
    In the Matthew passage where Peter asks the Lord, “How many time should I forgive?” It took Jesus from Matthew 10:21 to vs. 35 to answer that one. So, where is the ‘No Sin Zone’?
    Need I even mention Luke 6:37 or 2nd Corinthians 2:6-7? I can go on, but it is becoming redundant
    Carrying this to the farthest extreme will annul the unforgivable sin of ‘Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost’.
    I once set under a preacher who became so enamored with ‘Grace’ that that he arrived at the point where he concluded there is no sin in humanity because ‘All is love’.
    I caution you to beware lest you pull others into this pit and they lurch into a false sense of ‘No need to worry about my thoughts or actions, because God is Love’!
    Pea Brain
    Though I disagree I am Still Loving You Brother!

    • Hi Larry – and thank you (I see another below) – so Double Thanks!! πŸ™‚

      “Though I disagree I am Still Loving You Brother!” Now what is there to argue about when you finish like that!

      That is just the coolest comment ever! Thank you ((hug))

  8. I was so carried away with your Shakespearian prose that I read your post 4 times, regardless of the fact that it is not Bilblogically correct.
    My ‘Little Pea Brain’ thinks that perhaps your ‘Paul Brain’ was running on a “mind numbing Candy Crush” (Your words not mine.) sugar high when your fingers pounded out those words where you rationalized that “God needs not forgive’.
    If God loves us so much there is no need for forgiveness, what are we going to do with The Lord’s prayer’? In his model prayer he plainly tells us to ask God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. God surely wasn’t talking about loans here was He? In fact ‘forgive’ is mentioned 6 times in those 3 verses.
    What shall we do with Matthew 6:14-15 where it is written, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your trespasses”?
    If we have no need of God’s forgiveness what ever shall we do with The Revelation of Jesus Christ by St. John in chapter 20:11-13 In RE: The Great White Throne Judgment?
    In Matthew’s Gospel when Peter asks Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother, (Matt. chapt. 10) Jesus took from verse 21 to 35 to answer this question. Where is the ‘Sin Zone there’? Or, was it just unimportant?
    While you are thinking on that as you lie on the couch watching TV, may I suggest you consider Luke 6:37 as well as 2nd Corinthians 2:6-7. I could go on and on, but it becomes redundant.
    I once set under a pastor who became so enamored with ‘Grace’ that he arrived at the point where there is no sin in humanity because ‘all is love’.
    Carrying this line of thinking to it’s farthest extreme will annul the unforgiveable sin of ‘Blaspheme of the Holy Ghost’.
    David was a man after God’s own heart, but he wasn’t allowed to build the Temple because he had too much blood on his hands. Where was God’s ‘No need of Forgiveness’ there?
    Solomon was God’s anointed to be next in line and to build the Temple. However he married women who worshipped Baal and Astheroth and he did too. God split Israel into 12 nations over that one. Should we say that God had ‘no need for forgiveness over that’?
    God is a God of Love but he also is a jealous God! Suggested reading: Judges, 1st and 2nd chronicles.
    I caution you to beware of this injection of foolish thoughts lest others are lured into a false sense of security such as, “I can do anything and it is OK, because God has ‘No Need for Forgiveness’ !
    Straight from the Top
    Larry Camp

    • Larry, there is one thing that has come through loud and clear with all this soppy “love stuff”.

      That it is the harshest and most powerful discipline ever.

      I read your words and the thought “One man’s bible is another man’s blasphemy” springs to mind. Just like the old accountants joke: “What does 2 + 2 make?” Answer: “What number would you like it to make?” I find the bible sometimes the worst territory to shred in debate.

      But Love? It seems to drive everything. And in driving everything it demands everything. It demands discipline of love, of each other, and of all – equally.

      Would I be right in venturing this thought: those who have found God journey in different ways, and different speeds, and in different everything – except we are all drawn to One, in One and of One?

      Because that is what I read in your words. And they are perfect for you, just as mine are perfect for me. And – I hope – they are both of One. Which I find mind-blowing!! πŸ™‚

  9. I love the discussion! This reminds me of an old joke that I love. It sums up what I believe about forgiveness.

    A man is suspicious of his friend, because the friend says he talks to God and God talks back. So the man decides to test his friend. He says to his friend, “I went to confession this morning. I want you to ask God to tell you what I said”.

    So the friend prays for a bit, and then tells the man, “Okay, I asked God to tell me, and He did. He was very, very specific.”

    “That’s good,” said the skeptical man. “Tell me what God heard me confess.”

    His friends answered, “Okay. And these are God’s precise words. ‘I don’t remember’.” (Ref. 1 John 1:9)

    • Ruth that is the first time for me. Brilliant!! Simply brilliant!! And the injection of a smile, chuckle and then a rippling laughter is so welcome!!
      You remind all of us, I think, of the ambiguity to be found in earnestly conversing (the joy out of??) a topic so full of love. A beautiful breath of fresh air.
      You are a delight!!
      Thank you.
      πŸ™‚

  10. Wow, great read, Paul. You and God definitely like to get people thinking. I do agree with most of your commentors. I think, to paraphrase Peter, when there is love, there is no need to consciously forgive because love automatically forgives a multitude of sins. It’s what Jesus was trying to tell us in the Parable of the Lost Son. The father didn’t offer forgiveness. He didn’t even allow the younger son to ask for forgiveness. The father ran out LOVE on him. He showered him in love. Forgiveness wasn’t necessary because of the father’s great love.

    Yep. I SO get your brain, brother.

    • Hiya sister, He is full of surprises! First the post, then the comments, and then the inclusivity of each. No right and wrong, no us and them, just love in so many shapes and sizes – beautifully on display for any passer-by to sample.

      I heard a powerful story tonight. Looking out from the cross rather than up at the cross. It was a perspective I have never considered. And then those words: Father … forgive … them … for … they … do … not … know … what … they … are … doing.

      Looking out. At a crowd, or all eternity? At the saved, or all creation? And is He the only one who can use “them” in that way? If so, why do we “saved” love that word so much?

      What puzzles me still is the concept feared by some – that being loved so much “forgiveness” becomes irrelevant, somehow also means “carte blanche freedom” to be “bad”. How can that much love ever be viewed as a simple eraser, a mere rubbing out of sin – without entirely changing within the desire to not “sin”?

      Kind of “don’t love me so much – it’s not good for me – and here’s some verses to prove why”

      And yet – in this orchestra of His there is no them either. We are all “them”.

      I love that you get me. Sometimes I don’t get me! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • “Looking out. At a crowd, or all eternity?” That just gave me chills. Thank you for that. I had never considered that perspective either.

        Yes and yes – the concept puzzles me, too, yet I think you unconsciously nailed the view right there in your words: fear. When we think from fear, it colors our world in darker shades, pulls in and limits our peripheral vision.
        Love casts out fear, and when we allow it to do its masterful job, our vision expands, our worldview is blessed with an array of hues and shades and light our heart would not otherwise see or comprehend.

        Love is the answer.

      • Susan, thank you. Your words triggered a sequence of memories, images and thoughts. Love is like yeast, like salt, like that one bucket from which all else comes. Fear is like yeast, like salt, like that one bucket now writhing in turmoil from which all else comes. Both as powerful as each other. And just like dark and light – love will always cast out fear – if we allow.

        Love is the answer. Always.

  11. Paul-Brain, Sorry about the double post last night. I wrote the first and when I pushed ‘Post to Comment’, true to WordPress form, it all disappeared. I searched and searched thinking I would find it, or it would show up, but after an hour it hadn’t, so I wrote another. For that I apologize.
    On the whole I doubt if any post has ever received as many comments as this one has. At this point I would like to add that Franklin Twumast wrote the most significant.
    To put what I think you were trying to emit in a much simpler form is: ” God spent his capital in the form of His only Son, to die for the sins of mankind.” This is a point we can all agree on.
    This is co-joined with God’s love for humanity (John 3:16). But let’s not overlook the fact that ‘Many are called, but few are chosen’. (Matt 20:16). It then follows that God’s forgiveness is not a blanket coverage. “For the man who sins will surely die.”
    Frankly I find “God does not forgive . . . . Has no need to forgive’. quite contrary to the Bible.
    My credentials: I was a licensed Methodist Preacher, a Methodist Bible teacher, An Assembly of God Bible teacher for 10 years and Taught Bible Studies in an Undenominational setting for 6 years. Does four ‘rights make you wrong’? Not at all. But in all probability I have spent more time standing behind a pulpit or a lectern than you have probably spent in years as a physical presence on Earth. My learning has not been solely achieved in scholarly settings; but on my knees asking God to tell me what his Word really means. That, plus untold hours actually studying the words of the Bible. At this point I am 78 years old and being still full of vigor, I am still praying daily to be used in a most unusable way.
    I have two basic credos;
    1. I have no fear of any man, best or demonic spirit. My only fear is God.
    2. I love all people. (After all, God told me, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen.”
    Really, Love is just a natural thing built into me. It is in my DNA.
    Now–I have said all that I am going to say about this.
    We ALL are wasting our time by being distracted from carrying out ‘The Great Commission’ and neglecting the things of God by writing thoughts not worth a bucket of warm spit.
    Adios Amigos! Hasta la Vista. Boy de la casa! Mucho undela Senors e Senroas!
    Blessings and Love to You ALL! I’m outta here1
    Larry
    .

  12. I just love being privy to the Paul-brain/God-brain conversations. I won’t lie…I had a Bieker-from-the-Muppets moment inside my head while reading. But as always, I want to thank you for inviting us in as witnesses to something so intimate. Before I offer my thoughts on your discovery, I would like to say I am grateful that you write the same way you approach your relationship with the Father: fearlessly. You don’t think about how many “likes” (or dislikes…as if that is possible!) or comments you will receive. There is no subtext of hesitancy, only of relationship. Real, transparent, fearless relationship. And whether I agree (or disagree) or others agree (or disagree) matters not. What matters is that you are speaking from a place of relationship. That is real. And in a world of superficial, photo-shopped “reality”, I crave naked-as-you-came truth with its roots in the Word we treasure.

    It is interesting that you address this topic of forgiving and God’s “role” in it. Forgiveness has been on my mind lately. Mainly I have been thinking about our intention when we forgive. Many people forgive and there’s an implied ellipses after their forgiveness. An “I forgive”…so that I can receive forgiveness, or…because I know I need to, or…to show God I am changing, or…because I love. I have felt God telling me to eliminate the ellipses and just forgive. Forgive without a have-to mentality. No “so that” or “because”. Forgive. Period. Reach down into the tantrum-throwing, pouty-lipped, hands-on-hips depths of our toddler-behaving hearts and forgive. No motive. No expectation of a payout.

    It reminds me of people giving/tithing. A lot of people have this idea that by tithing/giving, God will bless their lives accordingly. That has always baffled me. If we can’t give without expecting something in return, then our motives are impure. It’s that casino Christianity again. “If I play my cards right, then God will give me a full return on my investment…or better yet, He will bless it and enlarge it.”

    Because, if we boil it down and scrape away all the debris and dross, what remains is love. Pure, untainted love. And forgiveness with a reason can’t be love. Giving with expectations can’t be love. God doesn’t attach strings to His love and His forgiveness. Why should we? Forgive, period. Give, period. Love… Period.

    Paul, once more, I thank you for your words and for feeding my head and heart. You never cease to amaze me.

    • “Mainly I have been thinking about our intention when we forgive.”

      Heather this week of daily verses has left me astounded. Jesus the bloke and His perfect touch, natural finesse, ease of gliding through each and every second. And then “us” – all of us. The religious “us” and the common folk “us” – all us loveable “there He is there He is” folk. All of us with our own sledgehammer approach, big boots stomping around, and a short sightedness beyond comprehension. The religious us? We know better than you. The common us? We who do not know better than you Lord.

      Well …

      All that gentle easy healing – all that “Lord we bring our broken fellow to you – we have heard you can help”. So often with Jesus’ “please don’t speak of this” request. And what happens? A light show extravaganza: Look at ME!!! I am HEALED!! Look at ME!!!!!

      I wonder how many of “us” walked away and were untouched inside. Unchanged inside. How many simply went out and got a job, went to the pub, enjoyed being part of “society” again – and never really “got it”.

      The Pharisees get a lot of bad press, and we tend to distance ourselves – that is not “us” we so often say. Yet we commonfolk “us” still trample all over Jesus in so many ways. So many “I have been saved” without “getting it” at all. And then more of us pour through the front door: GIMME GIMME GIMME! And walk away again: LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!

      As a Jesus bloke – how wearying must that be. That finesse, that absence of intent, and always surrounded by sledgehammer wielders – in every direction!

      “What would it be like never to have “intent” to forgive?”

      I am not sure I will ever know. But as a non-Jesus bloke, I know “wearying” might be close! πŸ™‚

      I started to write this up – and He was not interested. And then I came to your comment and He perked up and these words spilled out. No idea why. No need to know.

    • Hi again BJ – and thank you once again. I wonder if the questions ever end. Or whether by them never ending we may begin to comprehend a little of the hugeness that is God. What I do know is that for each it is unique. I live with a lady who has no need of questions. God just is. Always has been. Always will be. I bumped into someone else who loved rules. Not for the “I am doing good or bad” reasons, but so they could get on with “other stuff” and know they were still in the right place with God. He has created diversity in everything and everyone. And the way we so often try and shoe-horn all of us into “the right way” seems odd to me.

      This “God does not forgive” maybe – came out of the blue. I feel strongly about God Soft Hands Jesus. And I get the impression He does about me – and you – and all of us.

      Keep asking questions if that is you. Keep being 50/50 if that is you. Because – for me – that is what keeps it real.

      • BJ – I would like to share something I do feel strongly about: the “only” word πŸ™‚

        Jesus “only” did three years walking/talking/healing. I read of so many being labelled “immature Christians” – and when your church seat/pew has the same shape as your bum (maybe) – then you have earned the right to be taken seriously as a “mature Christian”. Until then? Keep your thoughts to yourself. It’s called training. To say yes and no as expected, to agree and disagree as expected. To be lead rather than lead. And to end up “only a Christian” (maybe).

        I am not sure the word “only” exists in God Jesus’s vocabulary. He has never ever breathed it in my ear. πŸ™‚

        Paul Grace: three brilliant years of living and loving Him – almost six decades of Him living and loving me!

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