Friday, September 11, 2020
Meditative Thoughts on Forgiveness
reflect on a thought each day of the week. Follow your meditation with the
To forgive is to make a conscious choice to release the person who has wounded us from the sentence of our judgments, however justified that judgement may be. ~Marjorie J. Thompson
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mohandas Ghandi
Forgiveness is not excusing an unjust behavior or action. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean forgetting; the past remains with us. But forgiveness is how Christians live and act as we face the future. ~Andy Langford and Mark Ralls
God, give me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me. ~ Serenity Prayer, Adult Children of Alcoholics
We must fervently pray for strength to resist the temptation of getting even with those who have hurt us and for the grace to reflect the majestic generosity of the kingdom of heaven. ~Douglas R. A. Hare
And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on God’s. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies, he gives, along with the command, the love itself. ~Corrie ten Boom
Friday, September 4, 2020
Real harm can be done from having an unresolved, interpersonal conflict being made public, because next step in Matthew 18 is banishment- making a church member an outsider. I have known individuals who have been deeply wounded by such a process. I still consider these folks fellow believers, even though they may have decided to avoid churches altogether.
The issue of “binding” is to first do no harm. The restraint of evil is what God is already doing, and it is a significant, if forgotten, ministry of the church, even as I let “loose” the good in ministry to he world. Great harm or great good can be done depending on how honest disagreements are addressed.
The body of Christ is like a human body, so think in terms of a human organism. Being a member of the body of Christ, I affect the rest of the body. The health or disease of the organism, the church, makes its own witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ. More than that, we pray to be “one with each other,” at Christ’s Table, Holy Communion.
What if the harm happened long ago, or the person involved is no longer alive but still in my memory? It’s still possible to make peace. In the Lord’s prayer, I pray God’s forgiveness and peace for others, and also ask for God’s forgiveness and peace: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If the person is far away, or if it’s unwise to go to them, I can still make amends by doing good for a person who is currently apart of my life. I can make peace by “paying it forward.”
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