TCM Devotions: Forgiveness and Rubbing Shoulders

Verse: Micah 7: 18-20
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives…?” The implied answer is “no one”. Left up to our own imagination, we humans tend to imagine punitive, petty gods – gods who are just like us. We live in a constant economy of self-preservation, one where we have to look out for ourselves. We can’t afford to be put out of debt because of the incompetence or evil of others.

So often as Christians, we forget the miraculous, fresh, knock-you-out character of God. Forgiveness, after all, is not a free ride. It means that the person doing the forgiving ends up incurring the costs: broken vase, broken ego, broken reputation – you name it. And yet, God delights to show mercy, to take upon Himself the cost of our disobedience.

It is not only that God delights to show mercy, but perhaps more importantly, God delights in us – and that is why He delights in mercy. It is not just the act, it is the restored relationship He wants with us. He does not simply forgive and then has nothing to do with us. He forgives precisely because He wants to rub shoulders with us in the deepest sense.

Have you allowed yourself to take in the “surprise” of God’s forgiveness and delight? In your restored relationship with God and others, how will you continue rubbing shoulders with the Almighty and with your brothers and sisters?