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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Forgiving 1

Lets acknowledge right up front that forgiveness, including self-forgiveness is a complex subject. Often hurts are so deep and so personal that people may spend years in therapy trying to accomplish healing and wholeness. Professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists have much to offer persons with such pain, and we fully support their work.

But forgiving is also the subject of faith, perhaps for the very reason that there is such a glut of guilt and pain in human lives. Jesus has much to say on this subject. In fact, it is such a major issue that, when he taught his disciples to pray, he included both the need to be forgiven and the need to forgive others in the Lord’s Prayer.

Further, there is a story you probably remember from your Sunday school days, simply because it is so dramatic. Some rather exuberant fellows tear a whole in the roof of someone’s house to lower a young man down to Jesus in an attempt to obtain his healing touch! (I wonder how long it took the owner of the house to forgive that!) It is probably no coincidence that it is a paralyzed young man who is lowered through the roof. What words does Jesus offer? “Son, your sins are forgiven”! While we have no idea what offences, real or imagined, this man may have perpetrated, the suggestion is clear that it is those very wrongs have paralyzed his life. It is well known that guilt and shame have that kind of paralyzing power over us. We need to forgive in order to move forward.

Marion has often observed that sometimes wounds can be so deep that forgiveness may only be possible as a gift of grace. That appears to have been the case of the young man in Luke 2 cited above. It is certainly true that many people who have been victimized by others can spend a lifetime searching for that gift of freedom.

When we consider the preponderance of guilt that so many people carry around in their lives, we can see why it is so much the subject of our faith journey. In order to move forward, we need to forgive, and to forgive ourselves.

At the risk of wading in waters beyond my depth, I will have more to say on this subject in a future post. As the saying goes, stay tuned!

In the meantime, may grace and peace abound in your journey today, and may you know the freedom of forgiving.

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. Forgiveness is a difficult topic, easy to give lip service to but very hard to pratice. Forgiveness is wrapped up in so many different emotions and baggage.
    Quite some time ago, when I was a lot younger, someone very close to me offended someone else who was very close to me. The offended party said, "I can forgive you but I will never forget what you have done". Can one truly forgive and not forget? Are they both part of the same action? Did not forgetting colour the on going relationship between the two parties?

    we have a good example of both actions occuring together in John 21: 1-19. The lord had the perfect opportunity to berate Peter for his past denials but did not. He spoke as if he had forgotten Peter's past weakness. He spoke as if Peter should also forget about those things he had done or not done. The Lord was saying " Peter, you need to realize that you are truly forgiven, I will turn your faults into strengths and your strenghts I will magnify, now forgive yourself and let's work together on "what matters most".

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  2. Don, thank you for your thoughtful comments. You are certainly correct about the difficulty of the issue, and the emotional baggage that can often go with it. For that reason, it is a challenging subject to address in a blog, even though it is important and potentially helpful to some. It is very important not to trivialize the subject or people's pain by being trite or insensitive. Thank you for a thoughtful contribution to the discussion.

    Carman

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