Forgiveness – Do the Impossible


I can’t tell you how many times I have been driving in my truck singing along to this song without ever taking the time to listen to the words Matthew West is singing – or even to the words coming out of my own mouth. Every day I receive an email from GodTube which provides a much needed and appreciated infusion of God’s grace into my morning. Recently, the morning message included the song Forgiveness.

Scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:32 “to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Easier said than done, right? I think one of the most difficult things we humans are ever called to do is to respond to evil with kindness, and to forgive the unforgivable. We love to read stories about people who have responded to hatred with love, but when that very thing is demanded of us personally, our default seems to be anger, angst, depression, self-righteousness, hatred, etc. Yet study after study shows that one of the keys to longevity and good health is to develop a habit of gratitude and let go of past hurts. Want to live a long, happy life? Forgive the unforgivable. It really is the kindest thing you’ll ever do – for yourself! The person who has hurt you may not deserve to be forgiven for all the pain and sadness and suffering inflicted on your life, but you deserve to be free from the evil.

In writing this blog post I discovered that the Aramaic word for “forgive” means literally to “untie.” The fastest way to free yourself from an adversary and all associated negativity is to forgive. Untie the bindings and loosen yourself from the ugliness.

Experts offer advice on dealing with situations that challenge us to forgive. Seek out a compassionate friend who can meet you where you are with empathy. Be kind to yourself. As soon as possible after a hurt has occurred, try to put your best mental energy into visualizing the new life you want. See yourself – in the future – as free from pain and suffering. Recognize that forgiveness can be a choice. Pray for the strength to forgive.

Sometimes it’s helpful to think of how others have forgiven under incredible circumstances. Whenever I think of forgiveness, I am reminded of the Amish community near Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania who forgave the deranged man who stormed into a one-room schoolhouse and shot ten girls, killing five. And then he killed himself. The world watched as members of that Amish community and the families of the slain girls forgave the killer, and reached out in loving service to his widow and their three young children. (Blog post: August 22, 2012.) Where does such capacity for forgiveness come from? From their deep and abiding faith in God.

Matthew West sings,

 

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness
It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
Forgiveness.

 

May it be so.

Praying for you. Please pray for me.

Peace friends,

Chuck

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