Forgiveness 1

For few days we will be looking at  the power of  forgiveness – the answer to bitterness

World Without End (Follett novel)

World Without End (Follett novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I start with a personal revelation whilst watching World Without End by Ken Follet. In the last episode there is a scene where the wicked Petranilla (who had killed many for the sake of ambition) was in a room with the heroine, Caris. Petranilla had killed Caris’ mother, father, best friend and tried to burn Caris at the stake. When Petranilla realises all her evil plans had turned against her she takes some poison to kill herself and Caris has her chance for revenge. I found myself seething with anger at this venomous character and wanted Caris to make her move. Caris, however, turns to her enemy looks her in the eye and says “I forgive you” and then starts praying for her. I was moved to tears and thought “so this is what it looks like to be truly powerful”.

 

Here are some key thoughts on how to be powerful in forgiveness.

•        God recognises that we have been treated badly

‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.’ Genesis 50:17

•        He sees our tears

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

•        Forgiveness always costs

They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven. Leviticus 5:18

•        We are not to forget the sacrifice God made for us to be forgiven

“who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit  and crowns you with love and compassion”, Psalm 103:2-4

“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” Hebrews 8:12

•        God forgives as we forgive

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15

•        Forgiveness is as powerful as a healing

Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? Mark 2:9

•        God wants us to forgive others much as we have been forgiven much

Read the parable of the unforgiving servant  – Matthew 18:21

Today: think about the the attitude of heart that Jesus encourages where one person freely forgives another (Matthew 18:22). This is what a powerful person looks like in action.

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One thought on “Forgiveness 1

  1. I’m wondering if I can be a captive or a prisoner, two different things. Being a captive might mean I have wounds or believe lies that keep me from freedom and so I struggle to give and receive love from God and each other. I give power to the wounds and lies and so as soon as I know that a thought or belief is a lie and renounce it I can hear and know a truth in it’s place and that truth sets me free. On the other hand, my choice not to forgive keeps me a prisoner (Mat 18: 21) and not even Father God will release me from my prison until I choose to forgive. One of the last things Jesus did before He died was to forgive people who didn’t ask for His forgiveness and hadn’t done anything to deserve it. His forgiveness not only released them from the consequences of their actions but released Him from the prison of His death. Forgiveness often isn’t easy because unconsciously I protect myself from the person who has hurt or offended me by the distance unforgiveness creates. To forgive I need to deal with the fear that I my not consciously recognise in myself and be prepared to remove a wall that I’ve erected around me to keep me safe. I think I’m suppose to feel safe and intimately connected to people around me so I don’t need to hide behind a wall, don’t need the barrier of unforgiveness and don’t feel fear in those relationships. Forgiveness feels like something that we get really good at and that transforms us and our environment to be more like heaven.

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