Monday, January 26, 2015

forgive


When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit,

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful things in the world.  We can give it, and we can receive it.  Both directions are very important because the lack of forgiveness leads to spiritual and physical problems.

This is the way begins his relationship with us, by forgiving our sins, and how God opens up more of our freedom and strength by giving and receiving forgiveness with the people we encounter in life.

We have a choice to survive or to thrive.  Surviving often means you do as little as possible to simply get by.  To thrive means you go above and beyond.  Have you experienced the peace that comes with forgiveness?  It is freeing to people on both sides of the relationship.

I have shared with you before that one of my favorite writers is Henri Nouwen.  His daily email meditation yesterday shared the following:

"Then the master called the servant in.  'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'"  Matthew 18: 32-33 (NIV)

Receiving Forgiveness

There are two sides to forgiveness: giving and receiving.  Although at first sight giving seems to be harder, it often appears that we are not able to offer forgiveness to others because we have not been able fully to receive it.  Only as people who have accepted forgiveness can we find the inner freedom to give it.  Why is receiving forgiveness so difficult? It is very hard to say, "Without your forgiveness I am still bound to what happened between us.  Only you can set me free."  That requires not only a confession that we have hurt somebody but also the humility to acknowledge our dependency on others.  Only when we can receive forgiveness can we give it.

(find the original post at THIS LINK)

I pray that you and I will learn the art of receiving forgiveness.  Last night I spoke on the phone with a friend I have known for lots of years, and as we were about to end the call they said they had one more thing to share.  It was a forgiveness issue that they had help for a long time, and they said it was time to make it right.  He needed to give forgiveness, and I needed to receive it.

Luke 17:4  NLT
Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.

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happy birthday, Julie

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