What ForGIVEness Gives Us

brown sugar edit Pin

I’m going to be writing on the subject of forgiveness in the days and weeks ahead and today I want to kick this off where God is getting my attention … at the “Paradox Principle.”

I’ve been reading through the gospel of Luke and there are SO many powerful passages about forgiveness there. Just today I was reading this often quoted passage,

“‘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 (NIV)

For me, the crux of Christ’s words here is to give what you’ve been given from Him.

Most of the time my knee-jerk reaction is to give what my offender has given me. But that’s exactly the opposite of what Christ calls us to do in this passage. The “Paradox Principle,” originated and created by Christ, is His “trademark,” if you will. No one else gives what’s good in exchange for what’s been bad/hurtful. It goes against common sense and human nature.

Think about the ways your spouse has offended you for a moment. Have you been taken for granted, lied to, insulted, criticized, rejected, betrayed, __________? You fill the blank.

Now, what we naturally want to do is defend ourselves or turn away from our spouse or offender when we’ve been abused or mistreated. But Christ wants us to lay our efforts to “right a wrong,” or worse, pay back a wrong with vengeance, at His feet and give what He is and has been extending to us—grace, mercy, love to our offender.

The holiday season is a great time to bake cookies and part of this verse reminds me of that process. When you’re using brown sugar in a recipe, you must shake it together, press it down and make room for every granule of sweetness to make the best cookies.

Christ wants to “press” the good you and I give to our offender “down” and “shake it together—making it as sweet and overflowing as possible for all to experience.

But if the measure you and I are using is to give what’s bad or hurtful back to our offender or our erring spouse, then we’re not evening the score. We’re short-changing our offender, our selves and our Paradoxical, Multiplying, Grace-giving God!

And who wants to short-change Him?

 

When I think of the grace and goodness He’s given me over and over again, I realize that I have only one true, right option in this wrong I’ve experienced—to do good, to love and to forgive those who’ve hurt me.

The times I’ve learned to do this with my husband {and others} have proven to me that Christ keeps His word. His goodness continually overflows into my lap and His sweetness spills into everyone’s lives!

Won’t you take that risk? Give what Christ has given you?

 

What makes it difficult for you to trust Christ’s “Paradox Principle”?

 

Click here to get one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes!

This post is #1 in “Forgiveness Series”

*******************

Joining with NOBH, Works for Me Wednesday, To Love Honor and Vacuum, Wisdom Wednesday, Whimsical Wednesday and Wholehearted Wednesday

Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!

WW rules:

Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that is spiritually encouraging.

  1. Enter in a permalink directly to your blog post and not the main URL to your blog.
  2. Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or add the WW button (code is in MM’s footer) to your current blog post and/or sidebar.
  3. Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.
  4. Please no offensive or inappropriate content or sexually explicit images!

Optional but encouraged:

  1. Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
  2. If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”
Come join our Wednesday Link-up!

  • I choose forgiveness Beth, though I must admit some times my flesh cries out so very loud. But I choose forgiveness all the same, I choose to give others what God in Christ has given me. Thanks for sharing this and hosting us once again.
    Do have a super blessed day! Love

    • Yes, isn’t it odd just how “loud” our flesh can be, Ugochi! It can often drown out the good that God wants to do in my heart and in the lives of others. I’m making that my focus today–to store of God’s goodness and expressing that especially to those who hurt me or have hurt me in the past. Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement to me, my friend. I appreciate you and your presence here at Wedded Wed and your influence for godly marriages!

  • This reminded me of going back to having that Grace filled marriage. God gave us grace and we are to give it to our husbands!

    • Yes, that’s true. It is all about grace–God’s grace. If we can get that right, our marriages will be so much healthier and vibrant. We could make such a difference to the watching world if we just let God heal our bitter hearts and love our spouses the way He loves each one of us! Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up, Cassie! I really appreciate it, my sweet friend!

  • Beth, you slap me every time… and I need it! Just the other day, I barked at my husband in response to what I perceived as an offense. I could’ve let it slide, and yet, my struggle is to balance mercy with the healthy freedom to express my feelings. I too often squash down conflict, saying it’s because I’m not going to let my sin nature reign… yet in the long run this makes me a pressure cooker because the frustration is still bubbling beneath the surface. I just need to learn how to internalize that forgiveness so it brings me authentic peace. Still a work in progress over here, my friend! I love that you are continuing to encourage us all during your healthcare journey. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    • What?! Am I slapping you again, sweet Becky? I really need to stop that! I don’t ever want to hurt you, unless it’s a good hurt–that points you in the right direction of God’s grace. 🙂 I so relate to what you share here in the comment section. I appreciate your honesty and humility so much! We’re both works in progress and I’m so glad we serve a God who never gives up on us! Hugs!

  • Kim Adams Morgan

    Beth, I love this topic. It is so easy to say the words, “I forgive you.” Following this up with actions can be another story when others have had years of hurt, disappointment and anticipation of what might be next. But trusting in what Jesus can do and offering the kind of forgiveness He is talking about is the only way to go.

    • Yes, this is one of my favorite topics, perhaps because I’ve struggled so much with it all my life. I’m grateful for the way God continues to reveal His truth to my wayward and bitter heart, dear Kim. And yes, following up those words with action is so very important! Thanks for your kindness to me, my friend! It means a lot to see you here in the comment section and linking up too! 🙂

  • For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Michael and I were just talking about this scripture this morning as it pertains to a challenging situation with an ex. We always have to take the high road, even if it hurts and … wounds our pride! So hard to be humble in situations where we believe we are right and they are wrong. And that’s why it’s so important to press in to Him each day. We just can’t love, forgive or do anything right without Him. Great post, Beth. Looking forward to the rest of what God is teaching you in the new chapter He is writing in your heart. With love…

    • Yes, that part of the verse really struck me this time around, Sheila. I’ve read it hundreds of times in the past, but the idea that God gives to us what we give to others really convicted me and stopped my whining and ruminating in its track! I will lift you and your hubby up as you choose to return “good” for the evil or not-so-good. I’m facing something of a similar situation and test. May we remain faithful to Him! Love ya!

  • Beth, this is such a good word! Thank you for encouraging us to make wiser choices in our marriage. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Lyli! I appreciate your kind words, my friend!

  • Mary

    I am intrigued by your series on forgiveness and look forward to how it will all unfold. I must admit that the very thought of forgiveness can cause a sudden onset of heart palpitations due to difficult situations where forgiveness has been avoided or a taken a long time to process. I continue to learn about grace, healing and love in all of my relationships. I’m glad I get to join you on this journey to understanding forgiveness.
    Blessings!

    • Oh, my! Heart palpitations, Mary? Really! My dear sweet friend, I’m so sorry that your journey through forgiveness has sometimes been a rocky one! I’m so glad to be on this journey with you, though and hopefully we’ll both learn so much more about the Father’s ability to redeem and heal. 🙂

  • I love the analogy of the brown sugar because I’m a baker. I love the idea of Christ pressing down all the good in me to overflow in sweetness toward my offender. Reality says that’s a lot easier said than done. My gut instinct is to swing back at my offender with all the hurt they swung at me. I have experience, twice with my husband recently, the sweet gift of forgiveness, when I haven’t felt loving, and I was fighting every fiber of my being to hurt him back, and all I can say is that Christ’s power was living in me as I granted my husband the love he needed, but didn’t necessarily deserve in the moment. This post is a great reminder to forgive as I’ve been forgiven and to love as I have been loved. Thanks for sharing and for the link-up.

    • Don’t ya just love that, Hannah?! I know, i do too, of course, my mind is already going towards the delicious foods we get to eat and indulge in this time of year, so maybe that’s why that popped in my mind. 🙂 And yes, I so get that “gut instinct” and am trying to lay all those fears and efforts to control down to the Lord too, Hannah. There’s so much that I’ve learned about trust in the One True Soulmate of my soul that could’ve only been learned in the crucible of marriage. Thanks so much for your kind words, your lovely, committed spirit towards your hubby and your humble vulnerability here, sweet friend!

  • Pingback: Where Forgiveness Must Begin | Messy Marriage()