Put Your Oxygen Mask on First: Living Out Forgiveness

Posted on November 29, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him.”  Psalm 103:11-13 (NKJV)


I have a daughter who has no problem taking on all kinds of challenges. From zip-lining in the mountains, to smuggling foot wear into Guatemala, to crowd surfing at concerts, this girl has participated in some doozy challenges in her young adult life. Can’t say I blame her though. I was there at the creation of a dance that is now called “The Mosh Pit” and I quickly became one of the many who became injured from doing it and liked it, over and over again (but I’m too old for that these days). However, one of her recent challenges stretched this father’s trust and that’s when she and a friend went from New Jersey to California, through the Upper Part of the 48…by car.


Yes, she saw all the sights that you could possibly see and the travelling to do it took its toll on her but for me, if things went awry, my little girl was miles away from her father to be able to rescue her. It was only when I actually heard from her (and not from seeing her pictures on social media) that my trust grew in what she had chosen to do was gonna be alright in the end. Kinda makes me wonder how God can do forgiveness on this “as far as the east is from the west” stuff given that there’s nothing really tangible to grab onto? The trust that the Father has in us, that we will receive this level of forgiveness, and be able to live in it can be astounding…that’s if we can remember that God gives grace to humble.


God, within Himself, possesses the capacity to choose to forgive and remember our sins no more, but for the rest of us the forgiving may be easy but it’s the forgetting that seems to be the longest thing to do. In his sermon, “Be Careful How You Live,” Alistair Begg guides us into two things that we should do that seem to be a good place to start. One, when you have said “I Forgive” your next point of action is to not bring the matter up again. Two, after forgiveness has been accepted, you do NOT bring the matter up to anyone else…even yourself. Yeah…try getting your head around that nutshell, huh?


For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-6


This may sound cliché but we do possess a weapon that can help bring your inability to forget the transgressions others committed upon you and it’s called God’s Word. Begg tells his listeners that if the transgressions come up onto the battlefield of your mind then hit the delete button and move on. Well that’s great idea and all, but there isn’t anything wrong with a Bible verse, passage, or story about a character in the Bible who was placed in the same possible position that you’re finding yourself in to come across your radar.


Joseph comes to mind. If there was anyone who coulda, woulda, shoulda, it was Joseph, and come to think of him, he may have had it worse than any of us given his place in history. Granted, in his youth, he was sorta boastful, I mean the coat and all, but at the end of it all Joseph was brought to a place of humility and was able to forgive, shared in the mourning that his brothers and father went through, and then became a blessing to them. I’m not sure how you would take being thrown into a cistern, left for dead, and then be taken as a slave into a hostile environment, to be basically be forgotten by your own people. As for me, I got huge issues with it…but God.


Truthfully, yes, when it is so serious of an infraction that it’s left its sting to last forever, and it’s in that where we justify not being able to forget what we said we forgave, but ultimately someone, somewhere, has had it worse than you and in their heart of hearts they forgave. You can say to me, “Brother Hughes, this isn’t as easy as qwerty boarding your advice in a Freedom Fighter” and I’ll agree with you, but I’ll be doing this at the foot of the cross where all is to be left. Jesus left it all there as well. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) and God the Father does just that, as far as the east is from the west, when in all meekness and humility, you seek Him so that you’re able to forgive as well. Amen?


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at cphughes515@verizon.net.

Think About This: “If I want to know this immeasurable grace, this overwhelming, astounding kindness of God, I have to step under the shadow of the cross. I must come where God releases grace. I must either look forward to it or I must look back at it. I must look one way or the other to the cross where Jesus died.”-  A.W. Tozer

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Cor. 5-8. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Hebrews 13:12-13

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

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