By Charles Towne
Forgiveness is an embrace across all barriers, against all odds, involving all races, all creeds, all religions, all men, in defiance of all that is petty, mean, cruel and vindictive in this life.
Forgiveness enables us to overcome our own sins, flaws and weaknesses and ignore those of others.
Forgiveness is truly a blessed and perfect gift from God.
Christianity extolls the value and virtue of forgiveness, it reveals the magnificent and extraordinary character trait of being forgiving as a primary feature of Jesus’ character and therefore of God’s very person.
When we withhold forgiveness from another, no matter how real or imagined the wrong perceived, we are placing ourselves above HIM, above our Holy God! How could we even begin to dream of doing such a thing?
We must remember that forgiveness blesses more than the one being forgiven, for we, in the very act of forgiving, are blessed, and in that blessing, we are healed.
Forgiveness is taking seriously the awfulness of what has transpired, and it opens the door for the other person to begin again, to be healed and to know true love. In that light how could we withhold such a life-saving gift from another?
So often we imagine the forgiveness that we offer to another is our gift to the one forgiven, but in reality, it is more God’s blessed gift to us because it is an absolute truth that we can never forgive without God first touching us with His gift of love and mercy and grace.
Without our forgiveness resentment builds in us, a resentment that turns into hostility and anger, even hatred, and this eats away at our well being and leaves us empty, a mere husk of what God intends, unable to realize the joy of a peaceful heart.
Jesus chose to die for us while we were yet sinners and His enemies, and what does He do as they are nailing Him to the cross? He calls out to God, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing!”
You and I have a much heavier debt of sin before God than we could ever have against one another. If we don’t forgive a brother or sister, anyone who has wronged us, we should pray in terror every time we ask our Holy God to forgive us.
If we refuse to forgive those who have offended us, by that very act of being unforgiving we are asking God to hold our sins to our account and condemn us to be eternally separated from Him. Please dear one, think of that for a moment and let it sink in.
Forgiveness serves our spiritual interest by preventing bitterness from clouding our ability to love. Three little words, “I forgive you” mean so very, very much, almost as much as, “please Father, forgive me.”
“O God, dear Father, mighty one, healer, comforter, provider, please forgive me as I forgive others.” Oh, what a terrible prayer that is, for if by chance I have not forgiven my brother than I am asking God not to forgive me!
If on the other hand, I forgive, and that forgiveness is based on genuine brotherly love, I have every right to expect to be forgiven by Him from whom genuine forgiveness originates and radiates, and that my dear friend is really what Christianity is all about
OUR PRAYER FOR THIS MOMENT AND FOR THIS DAY
Father, right now, at this moment in time please help me to be like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to this old sin-ridden earth and who lived and died a terrible death that I may have life more abundantly, and who rose again to glory everlasting, for only in this will I ever know true and lasting peace and happiness. Thank you O Mighty God! Thanks for loving me, for teaching me, yes, and yes, for forgiving me, and lastly, for giving me peace. In Jesus’ most wonderful name I pray this, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.