Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

God Forgives.

Friday, August 7th, 2020

The blood of Jesus reveals that God does not lash out at human sin and does not retaliate or seek revenge. Though we humans do such things (and often blame our behavior on God), God always and only forgives, loves, rescues, and redeems. We thought we were pleasing and appeasing God when we killed Jesus, just as we thought that all blood sacrifices to God were given as propitiatory sacrifices, but in reality, this attempt to please God turned out to be the greatest sin ever committed by humans. And even then, what did God do? He forgave this sin, just as He always does.

— J. D. Myers, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, p. 240-241

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, August 7, 2020

Not a Punitive God

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

In his critique of his father and uncles, Jung recognized that many humans had become reflections of the punitive God they worshiped. A forgiving God allows us to recognize the good in the supposed bad, and the bad in the supposed perfect or ideal. Any view of God as tyrannical or punitive tragically keeps us from admitting these seeming contradictions. It keeps us in denial about our true selves, and forces us to live on the surface of our own lives. If God is a shaming figure, then most of us naturally learn to deny deflect, or pass on that shame to others. If God is torturer in chief, then a punitive and moralistic society is validated all the way down. We are back into problem-solving religion instead of healing and transformation.

— Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ, p. 84-85.

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, August 1, 2020

Forgiving Even This

Friday, July 24th, 2020

God allowed us to sacrifice Jesus to expose to us the shocking truth that it is we who want sacrifices; not God.

Paul’s overall point is that God has never violently lashed out in the past when we humans committed sin. Instead, God has always overlooked and forgiven such sins simply because that is what a forgiving and righteous God does. So also, in the present time, God forgave and overlooked the greatest sin of all, the sin of murdering Jesus. Yes, it was necessary for Jesus to face a violent death on the cross, but this was so that Jesus would be the perfect revelation of God’s righteous forgiveness. The fact that God forgives humanity for the terrible sin of killing Jesus proves that God always forgives. In this way, God is proven to be both just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus.

The reason Paul makes this argument is because many people in his day (as in ours) believed that God was a God of vengeance and retaliation. But God’s revelation in Jesus Christ showed that He is not violent or vengeful. Instead, He is forgiving and righteous. To prove this, God let us kill His own Son, Jesus, in His name, as a “scapegoat sacrifice” (thinking that by killing Him, we were propitiating God and appeasing His wrath toward sinners), and then instead of revenge or retaliation He offers forgiveness. If God was really as we thought Him to be, then He would have destroyed humanity in anger and violence for wrongfully accusing and killing His own Son. But God did not do this. Instead, He simply forgave. Why? Because this is how God always behaves toward sin. He is righteous, and His righteousness is demonstrated through His free forgiveness of the worst of human sin. This is Paul’s point in Romans 3:20-26.

— J. D. Myers, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, p. 239-240

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, July 19, 2020

The Way of Jesus

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

The ultimate truth that Jesus revealed by becoming a scapegoat and then offering forgiveness is that forgiveness is the best, most successful, and most divine way of creating peace in times of conflict. Since most conflict is generated through an ever-increasing cycle of violence and retaliation, no party in a conflict is ever truly without fault. Except Jesus. He alone, among all human scapegoats in the history of the world, could have justifiably retaliated against humanity for the crimes committed against Him. Yet instead of retaliatory vengeance, when Jesus was on the cross, He turned to God and prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Accepting forgiveness for what we have done and extending forgiveness to others is God’s only divinely-sanctioned mechanism for creating peace and restoring relationships in times of conflict. The way of Jesus, which is the way of God, is the way of peace through forgiveness.

— J. D. Myers, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, p. 220-221

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, June 19, 2020

An Important Choice

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Forgiveness is above all a choice. It is a choice to find peace and live life fully. We can choose either to remain stuck in the pain and frustration of the past or to move on to the potential of the future. It is a choice we can all make, and it is a choice that will lead us to a healthier and happier life.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 217

Photo: Leithöfe, Germany, June 14, 1997

God’s Way to Peace

Monday, June 1st, 2020

Forgiveness is God’s way to peace, and it is the way revealed by Jesus through everything He said and did.

— J. D. Myers, Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, p. 220

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, June 1, 2020

Your Best Revenge

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who hurt you power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 211

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, May 23, 2020

Forgiveness

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

You have learned that forgiveness is not the same as approving of unkindness. Forgiveness does not mean you have to reconcile with someone who mistreated you. You do not have to forget what happened. Forgiveness does not mean you lie down and become a doormat when you are hurt.

Forgiveness means we find peace even though we were in pain and mistreated. Forgiveness means we move on in our life after an abandonment or affair. It means we become responsible for how we feel. Forgiveness means we learn to take painful events less personally. Forgiveness means we reconnect with our positive intention. Forgiveness means we change our grievance story. Forgiveness means that we do not stop smelling the roses simply because we are hurt. Forgiveness means we make better decisions for guiding our lives and forgiveness means we feel better.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p 208

Photo: Zweibrücken Rose Garden, June 2003

Minimizing Hurt

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Learning to forgive can be more than just a way to resolve past hurts and grievances. People learn to use forgiveness to minimize their chance of getting hurt in the present as well as limit the amount of time they remain hurt from the past.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 179

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 25, 2020

The Forgiveness Choice

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Other people can hurt us, but only we choose how to react. Each of us has the choice to forgive or not to forgive, and no one can force us to do either. If I want to forgive someone, no one can stop me, no matter how poorly the offender may have acted. This choice of whether or not to forgive is an example of the power we have to heal the wounds in our life and move on.

Because we can choose to forgive, we have a choice also about whether or not to take offense in the first place. My understanding of forgiveness suggests the radical notion that life would improve if we rarely or never used the power of choice to take offense. Since we have choice, wouldn’t it make sense to limit the amount of times we are hurt or offended?

When you have practiced forgiveness on a couple of hurtful situations, you soon find that you have become a more forgiving person. You may notice you are less inclined to get angry or that you feel more patient with people. Forgiveness — the ability to live life without taking offense, without giving blame when hurt, and by telling stories that reflect peace and understanding — is a choice that can be practiced in a host of situations. Forgiveness, while not the only choice, is a skillful way to deal with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 178-179

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 7, 2020