Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

Give Space to the Good

Monday, September 10th, 2018

The third benefit from forgiveness emerges as we give more love and care to the important people in our lives. I know from my own experience and those of many others that hurts from the past often cause us to draw away and mistrust the very people who are trying to love us. Too often the people who suffer from our grievances are not the people who hurt us but those who care for us today.

If we rent too much space to what went wrong, where is the space to appreciate the good in our lives? If we focus our attention on past defeats, how can we give our full loving attention to our significant other, friends, or co-workers? If we remain bitter over past parenting cruelties, who suffers — our parents or our current friends and loved ones?

— Fred Luskin, Forgvie for Good, p. 73

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 26, 2014

Anger of Limited Duration

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Let us pause here for a moment to dwell on the significance of this fact of the limited duration of the divine anger, so clearly taught in the Old Testament. Take a few instances, “I am merciful, says the Lord, I will not keep anger for ever” (Jer 3:12). “His anger endures but a moment” (Ps 30:5), “while his mercy endures for ever” (Ps 136) — a statement repeated no less than twenty-six times in this one psalm. “He will not always chide, neither keeps he his anger for ever” (Ps 103:9). “He retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy” (Mic 7:18).

But if this be true, what becomes of the popular creed? If God’s anger is temporary, how can it be endless? If it endure but a moment, how can it last for ever in even a solitary instance? I would invite our opponents fairly to face these plain and reiterated assertions: and to explain why they feel justified in teaching that God’s anger will in many cases last for ever, and that his mercy will not endure for ever.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 238

Photo: Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland, July 11, 2003

God’s Forgiveness

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The crucifixion is not what God inflicts on Jesus in order to forgive; the crucifixion is what God endures in Christ as he forgives. The monstrous aspects of Good Friday are of entirely human origin. What is divine about Good Friday is the completely unprecedented picture of a crucified God responding to his torturers with love and mercy. Golgotha offers humanity a genuinely new and previously unimagined way of conceiving the nature of God.

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 90

Photo: Kilchurn Castle, Scotland, July 2003

Secret of Forgiveness

Friday, August 31st, 2018

The secret of forgiveness, regardless of whether you want to use it as a method of detachment or as a way to fortify your relationship after repair, is to focus not on the offensive behavior, but on freeing yourself of the emotional pain you experienced as a result of the behavior.

The most severe aspect of emotional pain is the sense of powerlessness it engenders. Intentional forgiveness helps you take back power over your emotional life.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 230

Photo: Notre Dame, Paris, April 2001

Forgiveness Frees Us to Love

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Too often the people who suffer from our grievances are not the people who hurt us but those who care for us today.

If we rent too much space to what went wrong, where is the space to appreciate the good in our lives? If we focus attention on past defeats, how can we give our full loving attention to our significant other, friends, or co-workers? If we remain bitter over past parenting cruelties, who suffers — our parents or our current friends and loved ones?

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 73

[Photo: Meersburg, Germany, June 1, 1997]

Forgiving from Strength

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Forgiveness is an act that shows strength. We can forgive from strength only when we know, have named, and shared those feelings. We can forgive from strength only when we have made clear we are hurt and that we are not ashamed of being hurt. Our strength can be an example to others.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 72

[Photo: Torrey Pines State Reserve, California, July 10, 2015]

As We Forgive

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

If we forgive not men their trespasses, our trespasses remain. For how can God in any sense forgive, remit, or send away the sin which a man insists on retaining? Unmerciful, we must be given up to the tormentors until we learn to be merciful. God is merciful: we must be merciful. There is no blessedness except in being such as God; it would be altogether unmerciful to leave us unmerciful. The reward of the merciful is, that by their mercy they are rendered capable of receiving the mercy of God — yea, God himself, who is Mercy.

— George MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel, p. 140-141

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]

Facets of Forgiveness

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it changes the present. Forgiveness means that even though you are wounded you choose to hurt and suffer less. Forgiveness means you become a part of the solution. Forgiveness is the understanding that hurt is a normal part of life. Forgiveness is for you and no one else. You can forgive and rejoin a relationship or forgive and never speak to the person again.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 68-69

[Photo: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, May 25, 2015]

Power

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

Something has happened, clearly, that has unleashed this new kind of power into the world. That something is the chain-breaking, idol-smashing, sin-abandoning power called “forgiveness,” called “utter gracious love,” called Jesus. It isn’t that first you have to repent and then, as a result, God may decide not to press charges on this occasion. It isn’t that somehow you thereby gain “forgiveness” as a kind of private transaction unrelated to the truth about the wider world. It is, rather, that forgiveness is the new reality. It is the way the new creation actually is. All it requires to belong to that new creation, with that banner over its doorway, is that you should turn from the idols whose power (did you but know it) has already been broken and join in the celebration of Jesus’s victory.

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 384

[Photo: Chateau Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland, November 12, 2000]

A Picture of Forgiveness

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

The cross is not a picture of payment; the cross is a picture of forgiveness. Good Friday is not about divine wrath; Good Friday is about divine love. Calvary is not where we see how violent God is; Calvary is where we see how violent our civilization is. The justice of God is not retributive; the justice of God is restorative. Justice that is purely retributive changes nothing. The cross is not where God finds a whipping boy to vent his rage upon; the cross is where God saves the world through self-sacrificing love. The only thing God will call justice is setting the world right, not punishing an innocent substitute for the petty sake of appeasement.

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 86

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]