October 19, 2011

The Path of Forgiveness (Part 1)

The path of forgiveness is one of the most difficult of journeys you will ever make.  

We all live in a fallen world and there is often pain that wounds hearts and pierces souls.  So the path towards forgiveness is one that all of us are called to walk sometime in our journey on earth. This path winds through dusty deserts and chasms of pain so deep that only God hears the echoed cry of our wounded soul.

Forgiveness often involves hours of agonizing prayer over weeks and months that vacillates between the cry for justice for the injured and punishment for the offender.  

But does retribution balance the harm done by the offender?

Does it bring healing or peace or can it increase bitterness?

Do you wait until the pain is over before you forgive? Did Jesus?  

No, His cry was "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."  (Luke 23:34) 

These words were for those who put Him to death but the plea was also for all humanity.

  • Forgiveness is not a onetime act but a daily choice of commitment.
  • Forgiveness is so much more than the release of resentment toward the offender. 
  • Forgiveness is a gift that costs from the very depth of our beings.    

 “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, 
and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Luke 22:44 (NKJV)

Jesus was preparing His heart for the path of forgiveness before Him. The path that led to the cross.

Jesus died for the abused and the abuser seeing in both the common need to be wrapped in His grace and forgiveness.

“We tend to talk about justice 
far more often in every community 
that’s been in turmoil and 
we rarely talk about 
forgiveness and mercy.”  
Robert Enright

The path of forgiveness that involves mercy is one that brings the deepest healing.

Further Reading On Forgiveness
The Path of Forgiveness (Part 2)
Words Fail

No comments: