As part of a radio presentation, a gentleman disclosed he frequently played video games. Daily he set out to save the world. He had a young son. When the son asked to play Dad said sure and gave him a controller. Often Dad was ahead. When this occurred, in order not to discourage his son, Dad would hit the reset button. The reset button allowed them to start fresh by wiping the slate clean.
This man used the reset button as an illustration of God’s forgiveness. I like this example – a lot.
For me, forgiveness has not been as easy as hitting the reset button.
Oh, as a Christian, I know what the Jesus answer is. “I forgive you.” For me, that can be a head answer rather than a heart response. I say the words. I know they are expected. I know they are the ones Jesus would say to me. But they are not the words I feel.
When I am hurt, disappointed, and angry saying those words seems to cheapen the affliction. Though I give voice to the words, Jesus recognizes my heart does not mean them. He understands my heart aches and cries with the distress it has experienced.
The head response for me is just the beginning of the “I want to be like Christ” response. Not until my head and heart match do I believe forgiveness is complete. Pure forgiveness encompasses attitude and action as well as words. It needs to come from my heart and my head.
Jesus understands the work that needs to be done before my heart can match my head. I believe He is okay, knowing this.
Though Jesus wants the head and heart to match He understands there were years I didn’t acknowledge this disconnect. He grasps that I have not wanted to admit I have this issue. He comprehends there were times I wanted to stamp my foot and demand He make it better (better in my eyes, not His). He recognizes my model of forgiveness wasn’t the one He would have wanted for me. And He appreciates I am trying, seeking, failing, and trying again.
I don’t play video games, but my family does. We have a controller with a reset button and someday I will learn to fully use it. I am thankful Jesus has His own reset button. I know when I bring my stuff to Jesus He hits the reset button just for me. Thank goodness His head and heart match – all the time.