Sunday, March 11, 2012

Patience, Mercy, Forgiveness.4


"Do not limit your attitude of forgiveness.
Are you willing to forgive seven times?
Seventy times seven times is more appropriate." 

 --Jesus

What if:

image from npr.org
  • their indifference costs you sorrow 
  • their slander costs you friends 
  • their thievery costs you setbacks 
  • their cruelty costs you fear 
  • their selfishness costs you want 
  • their abuse costs you wounded-ness 
  • their hypocrisy costs you confusion 
  • their deception costs you enlightenment 
  • their sloppiness costs you injury 
  • their broken promise costs you trust 
  • their arrogance costs you humiliation 
  • their distraction costs you a life 
  • their disloyalty costs you defeat 
  • their ignorance costs you understanding 
  • their lying costs you justice 
  • their coveting costs you property 
  • their beatings costs you scars 
  • their impurity costs you innocence 
  • their malice costs you peace 
  • their adultery costs you intimacy 
  • their thoughtlessness costs you grief 
  • their nonforgiving-ness costs you friendship 
...will you forgive?

Forgiveness is the intersection between Man's Will and God's Power to help, heal and save!

Is this not the Divine Idea of Forgiveness:

“He has wronged me grievously.It is a dreadful thing to me, and more dreadful still to him, that he should have done it.
He has hurt me, but he has nearly killed himself. He shall have no more injury from it that I can save him.
I cannot feel the same towards him yet; but I will try to make him acknowledge the wrong he has done me, and so put it away from him. Then, perhaps, I shall be able to feel towards him as I used to feel.
For this end I will show him all the kindness I can, not forcing it upon him, but seizing every fit opportunity; not, I hope, from a wish to make myself great through bounty to him, but because I love him so much that I want to love him more in reconciling him to his true self.
I would destroy this evil deed that has come between us. I send it away. And I would have him destroy it from between us too, by abjuring it utterly.”
Think of forgiveness, then, like this:The perfecting of a work ever going on, namely the contact of God's heart and ours, ours and our offenders. In spite of the offense and toward its destruction, God's love is ever in front of his forgiveness. His love is perfect and being perfected in us, working out the forgiveness, because God loves where He cannot yet forgive, where no contact of hearts is possible because the intervening wrong has not yet begun to yield to His holy destructive fire!

But yield it will. Of that we may be sure!"

Until we should feel that the highest prize worth receiving is the heart of a repentant brother or sister, we have more to learn about His great heart! Let us press on to know Him!

(adapted from MacDonald, It Shall Not Be Forgiven, Unspoken Sermons I, emphasis added)