Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

Never the Right Solution

Friday, November 10th, 2017

I knew Bapuji would say that revenge is never the right solution. A desire for revenge eats away at you, destroying your peace of mind and leaving you constantly on edge. Instead of hurting you once, the evildoer takes over your life and destroys you again and again. I couldn’t let that happen — or I would be letting Bapuji down.

— Arun Gandhi, The Gift of Anger, p. 246-247

Outshine the Resentment

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Forgiveness and mercy mean that, bit by bit, you begin to outshine the resentment. You open the drawer that was shut and you take out the precious treasures that you hid there so long ago and, with them, the person who marvels at tadpoles, who pulls for people to come clean and then have a second chance, who aches and intervenes for those being bullied, forgives the evil brothers and unforgivable you.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 170-171

The Forgiveness Channel

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

It saddens me to see countless people who fail to pay attention or be grateful to those they love because they are either thinking of people who have hurt them or feeling sorry for their loss. Let me make one thing clear. I am not saying to ignore problems in your life or deny that people have hurt you. What I am saying is that focusing too much attention on a hurt makes it stronger and forms a habit that can be difficult to break. I am saying that you do not have to dwell endlessly on the painful things in your life. Dwelling on wounds gives them power over you. What you remember, or focus your attention on, can be shifted in the same way that you can change the channel on your TV. If we get used to watching the grievance channel we are likely to see that the world has many grievances, but if we get used to watching the forgiveness channel the world can begin to look very different.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 9-10

Amnesia

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Happiness, healing, and forgiveness are all about remembering who we truly are and what we have come here to do. As we join with other people, we begin to see no separation, judgment, or fear between us; we remember ourselves and our oneness. Amnesia means that we have forgotten who we are as children of God, which is the very thing that would fulfill us and make us happy; we are all amnesiacs. We are the spiritual prince and princess of a kingdom we left long ago. We have forgotten that we have a rich Father.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 263.

Inescapable Love

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

The notion of suffering as an offset for sin comes first of all, I think, from the satisfaction we feel when wrong comes to grief. We hate wrong, but, not being righteous ourselves, to a degree we cannot keep from hating the wronger as well. In this way the inborn justice of our nature passes over to evil. It is no pleasure to God, as it so often is to us, to see the wicked suffer. To regard any suffering with satisfaction, unless it be sympathetically with its curative quality, comes of evil and is a thing God is incapable of. His nature is always to forgive, and just because he forgives, he punishes. Because God is so altogether alien to wrong, because it is to him a heart-pain and trouble that one of his little ones should do the evil thing, there is, I believe, no extreme of suffering to which, for the sake of destroying the evil thing in them, he would not subject them. A man might flatter, or bribe, or coax a tyrant. But there is no refuge from the love of God. That love will, for very love, insist upon the uttermost farthing.

“That hardly sounds like love,” you say. “It’s certainly not the sort of love I care about.”

No, how should you? How should any of us care for it until we begin to know it? But the eternal love will not be moved to yield us to the selfishess that is killing us. You may sneer at such a love, but the Son of God, who took the weight of that love and bore it through the world, is content with it, and so is everyone who truly knows it.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 261-262

Dwelling on Good

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Just because bad things happen does not mean you have to dwell on them. I regularly ask people why they do not dwell on their good fortune with the same energy that they invest in their bad fortune. This question always catches people by surprise. They rarely consider appreciating their good fortune as an equal option to obsessing over their bad fortune. Are you one of those people who seem to find their problems more compelling than their blessings? Do you, or someone you know, rent out more space to what is wrong than what is right?

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 9

Healing Repentance

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Sin and suffering are not natural opposites. The opposite of evil is good, not suffering. The opposition of sin is not suffering, but righteousness. The path across the gulf that divides right from wrong is not the fire, but repentance.

If my friend has wronged me, will it console me to see him punished? Will that be a rendering to me of my due? What kind of friendship would I be ft for if that were possible, even with regard to my enemy? But would not the shadow of repentant grief, the light of reviving love on his face, heal it at once, however deep the hurt had been?

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, compiled by Michael Phillips, p. 259.

Job’s Depression

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

It is important to realize that nowhere in this book are we given reason to believe that Job’s depression, in and of itself, is ever viewed by the Lord as being his own “fault.” On the contrary, in view of the clear mandate for unlimited harassment (short of death) given to Satan in the Prologue, we are constrained to see Job’s psychic trauma as part and parcel with his other trials, just one more of the Devil’s assaults upon his faith. In fact the message that begins to unfold in Chapter 3 is that depression in a believer, far from being unforgivable, is one of the things that the Lord is most ready and eager to forgive. It may even be something that does not call for forgiveness at all, and far from being a sign of loss of faith it may actually demonstrate the presence of the sort of genuine and deeply searching faith that God always honors.

— Mike Mason, The Gospel According to Job, p. 59-60

Giving Grievances Space

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

If you can view your mind as your house, I can teach you to control how much space you rent to your wounds and grievances. You are the proprietor, and you set the rent. Each of us decides who our tenants are and the conditions of the lease. What kind of accommodations do we want to give our wounds and grievances?

We can rent our grievances the master bedroom and build them a hot tub out back. We can give them a great lease with terrific terms that never expire, or we can grant them only a day-to-day tenancy. We can allow them to put their stuff in all the rooms of the house, or we can restrict them to a small room in the back. In other words, we need to ask: How much time do we spend thinking about our hurts and disappointments? And, When we think about them, how much intensity is there?

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 8

The Way Out

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The path away from judgment of self and neighbor requires major mercy, both giving and, horribly, receiving. Going without either of them leads to fundamentalism of all stripes, and fundamentalism is the bane of poor Mother Earth. Going without engenders blame, which offers its own solace but traps us like foxes. We trick out box traps with throw rugs and vases, until the pain grows too big. Then the only way out of jail is forgiveness.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 48-49