The gain of forgiveness

I am trying to process this a bit, so please bear with me. I firmly believe that, even though I lose something, I gain more from forgiveness than I do holding onto the debt that others have toward me. I feel that in my soul. But my mind can't help but wander into the communicable attributes that God has, that I can participate in. One of them, of course, is that God is forgiving. There is some tension here and I am not quite sure what to make of it. Made in the image of God I see that I gain more than I lose by forgiving. But, what did God gain? This wholly other God, what would he have lost if he did not forgive?

Now I cannot even fathom to think that one iota of his glory and power would be diminished in any way had he just sent Adam and Eve into the hell that they deserved. I mean, really, who could instruct God that the wrath incurred by offense that he inherited through their disobedience would not have been perfectly displayed through their banishment from his presence forever? Who would question it? Would he have been less of a God if he had taken that route? Would he have been unjust? Not in the least. I dare say that the glory and praise that he deserves would not be relegated to the dustbin nor even the back seat.

So what would he have lost through not forgiving them? How would he have been maligned by destroying every living thing rather than saving Noah and his family through the flood or leaving Abraham to follow in his father's footsteps? Who would shake their puny fist at him after wiping out the Hebrews in the wilderness and starting a new nation through Moses? Who indeed!

The only thing that I can think of that he would have lost, the only gain that he would have found through his long, patient, loving journey of forgiveness and restoration is "me". If you are one of his then, "you". Can you believe it? I scarcely can as I close my eyes and see him move his hand to dismiss the sins that his Son atoned for on the cross knowing that his reward was to include me. As he stares at the work he has accomplished, rightfully pleased and eternally satisfied, he will set his gaze upon me. I was too precious to lose. My presence was his gain. What glory rivals his? What god stands beside him?

No, God, not 'who am I' that you would love me this way, but 'who are you' to love like this? As I ask, I humbly acknowledge that I scarcely know you.

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