A few weeks ago, Annika Sontag, a Junior in one of the city schools, shared a speech with us that she had given in an international speech contest on the blessing of Forgiveness, a project of the school’s Deca effort to raise funds for Candles Museum, operated by Holocaust survivor, Eva Kor. You can listen to the short speech here: http://www.bbcth.com/mp3-sermons.html
Along the same line the following thought caught my attention:
“We should always forgive. We should forgive the repentant for their sake, the unrepentant for our sake.”
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach,
To withhold forgiveness from one who is repentant is to be mean, and to exalt your self above Deity, for God in Christ stands anxious ready to bestow mercy upon whosever will accept forgiveness. Many who profess faith, toss and turn through long nights, tormented, refusing even the thought of forgiving someone or some group that has trespassed against them. Note my favorite passage:
Ephesians 4:30, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)
Failure to forgive even the unrepentant is to go beyond the limits God has set on the subject and forgo the peace that comes when we forgive and to subject our inner calm to the storms mentioned by Paul. Notice the violence in the heart storm: Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, (Loudly screaming for rights) evil speaking. The list reminds of many op-eds in today’s news. Verse 32 is much better for our spiritual, mental and emotional health.
Forgiveness is healthful for those who ask for it. Forgiveness is always healing for the those who give it, whether the recipient is deserving or not.
Copyright © 2018 Larry Lilly
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