Learning to Pre-Forgive
By Bruce Hebel –
The forgiveness model Jesus left for us to follow involves the mindset of pre-forgiveness. He made the decision to forgive us long before we admitted we needed it. He knew what we were going to do. “[Judas] What you are about to do, do quickly” (John 13:27). Later in the garden, “Friend, do what you came to do” (Matthew 26:50). Shocking isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but this is way outside of my emotional grid. I have spent hours trying to wrap my head around this concept. It’s true. The evidence is clear that Jesus pre-forgave you and me.
In Ephesians 2:4-10 we find that God knew that in Jesus, all the requirements for our forgiveness would be completed so that we, through faith, would be reconciled to Him. Sounds like a pre-plan to me. Jesus arrived on the planet with a predisposition toward forgiveness. He had already made the decision to deliver a prepaid package of forgiveness to anyone who asked for it. He expects no less from us.
Several months ago, I had lunch with a couple of friends. During the course of the conversation one of these men confessed he had an issue with me. I was completely unaware of the conflict. My friend had made a false judgment against me and became bitter about it. He had been confronted in his spirit by the Lord and he repented, which means he “changed his mind” about what he was upset about. My friend confessed his judgment against me and asked if I would forgive him. In the past I might have said, “I don’t know. Hmmm, I think I need to process this information just a little while. I’ll get back to you.” But what I said that day was, “Sure I forgive you. I didn’t know I needed to, but it’s a done deal.” You see, the Lord has been teaching me to live with an attitude that pre-forgives everything that anyone does to me. Don’t get me wrong. I still struggle with this from time to time, but I have found that it’s so much more freeing to forgive than to carry the offense. My friend confessed, I forgave and, along with our other friend, we had a great lunch. He was free, I was free and the waitress got a great tip!
AUTHOR QUOTE: Make pre-forgiveness a lifestyle!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved!” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NET).
Today’s devotional is by Bruce Hebel, President of ReGenerating Life Ministries, Pastor of ReGen Fellowship in Tyrone, Georgia, and Adjunct Professor at Carver Bible College. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in ministry for over 35 years