Sunday Faith Blog

power of forgiveness

I think most of America is particularly stunned by the forgiveness offered to the monster who recently murdered 9 people in the South Carolina church.  Many of you understand why forgiveness is offered and know it can only come from the strength of great faith in God.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:14-15

“…and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us….” (From the Lord’s Prayer.)   Gives one pause, doesn’t it.   “Wait, I’m forgiven perhaps only as I forgive others?  Uhoh!” That’s a very sobering thought.

But ‘tit for tat’ is not the reason for forgiving, or shouldn’t be.   It isn’t that motivation behind the strength one gets that enables one to forgive.

forgiven

The peace gained from forgiving is monumental……Forgiveness is for all those involved. And, as a very wise friend used to say “God wants us to forgive, we need not forget….we don’t have to open ourselves to hurt again.”  I have known many who will not forgive because they are afraid to be hurt again.  Don’t forget if you’d rather not, but forgive.

Forgive someone today….even someone who’s passed on.   Write to that person who’s hurt you…don’t send it if you’d rather not, burn it, but write how you feel.  And forgive.

The families in North Carolina are a great example of faithful Christian believers following the Word they profess.  Easy to profess, not so easy to ‘do.’   They are doing it.

forgiveness

Do you agree with the statement below?   Let’s talk about this….who does not deserve forgiveness?  And is it about ‘deserving?’

forgiveness 2

Have a great Sunday…

Z

 

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20 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. alec says:

    I don’t know, Z, this subject is one I’ve struggled with. Your friend is right that we forgive others to be free from bondage to them and bitterness inside ourselves. But do we forget what happened, or not? Some of us have long memories. That’s a blessing, usually.

    If we are saved by Christ, we know He has forgiven us. But it’s not forgiveness without consequences. He paid for each of our sins through his life, suffering and death in our place.

    Forgiveness in America seems now to be confused with letting everyone off the hook. Whether or not a person who commits a heinous crime shows remorse is essential for their soul, but restitution to whatever degree possible needs to be made. One of the most un-Christian aspect of our modern America seems to me to be the unjustice of it all. The souls of normal people are enraged when justice is not done.

    And still without forgiveness there can’t be peace. Your friend is right.

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  2. Mustang says:
    I think the family members who stood in front of the killer of their loved ones were premature in their forgiveness of his heinous acts. If Justice is a virtue, then so too must forgiveness be a virtue—and yet, there is something missing here. It is that the murderer has yet to display any remorse for what he did; the murderer has not asked for forgiveness.

    Our religious training indicates that we may enter into the House of the Lord, but first … we must knock. God may forgive our sins, but only after we have petitioned His mercy; after we demonstrate genuine remorsefulness. Therefore, forgiveness has certain conditions and I think that these family members “forgave” the shooter, not for his sake, but for their own.

    There is nothing wrong with that, of course … but it does remind me of something written by Marcus Aurelius: “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate bring you together, and do so with all your heart.” This speaks volumes about achieving inner peace, and is therefore a worthy sentiment … it has nothing to do with forgiving an unrepentant psychopath.

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  3. FOX NEWS just reported that [faith] is at an all time low, in America, with just 42% of the population having it. This fact certainly contributes to the strife that we are witnessing today. While measures such as ‘gun control’ legislation may provide some illusion of ‘feel good’ it will render nothing positive and more than likely make things worse. Since “faith” cannot be legislated what do we do? I do not have the answer!

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  4. Mustang says:
    @ John

    I heard that percentage expressed this morning, but I don’t agree with it. For a good overview of data, see this article about America’s changing religious landscape. Remember too that a refusal to identify with a particular religion doesn’t necessarily suggest that Americans do not maintain their faith in God. Rather, I think it has more to do with many of our churches are failing to engage with parishioners in a meaningful way. And as Father Morris pointed out, if you think 42% is a low number, imagine how low our confidences is in government institutions.

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  5. I blogged about forgiveness and opined that forgiveness was to be proffered, contingent on repentance.
    Similarly God offers us forgiveness, but without repentance, the forgiveness is not given, only offered.
    Many disagreed with me.
    But it must be offered.
    Forgive my sins as I have forgiven others.

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  6. geeez2014 says:

    Alec, what a good point you make with “And still without forgiveness there can’t be peace. Your friend is right.”

    Mustang, the family members did exactly that…they accept, they love those who fate brought into their lives even in this horrid manner.

    JB…I’m torn on that one…I see young people in growing numbers coming to Christ….we have 80 of them at our church this summer, using it as a staging ground for their summer evangelizing activities; AMAZING attractive dedicated young people. Hillsong has appealed to tons of young people….sadly, the denominations are shrinking … I happen to like a good Lutheran service, etc., but they’re mostly losing out for the reason MUSTANG gives; too many churches aren’t standing true to the Scriptures, they are weakening it to appeal and it’s NOT APPEALING. There is a Presbyterian push now to change words in the Bible to soften the Word. It’s unbelievable. I avoid criticizing any denominations here, of course, always have, but this REALLY got to me. I heard facts that stunned me. Here in California conservative Episcopalians are leaving and going to the Anglican church, which is more conservative than the Episcopalian, unlike the very lib Anglican church of England.

    Yes, the families in S Carolina forgave for themselves, but I believe it’s a much, much more involved, deeper thing than that.

    I just watched much of the church service there…amazing.

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  7. geeez2014 says:

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads, by the way.

    I had a spectacular dad who passed to his reward 21 years ago……amazing, bright, very funny, man of great faith and responsibility to his church and his family………TOM.
    At his funeral was a previous Gov of California, who happened to have been a close friend growing up, and contractors who worked for Dad….the gamut….the governor there and, alongside, guys who stood in the narthex watching the crowded service, wearing their work belts with hammers, etc., in them. I love that juxtaposition. That was my dad.

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  8. alec says:

    Hey John, I’m with you – what do we do? Maybe we just have to keep patiently and lovingly plodding along with the people who don’t have faith. If all of us with faith consciously tried harder to live it, things would certainly change in some way, wouldn’t they?

    Ed, could you send a link to that post you mentioned?

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  9. Are comments in Moderation?

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  10. Probably the links triggered it.

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  11. Bob says:

    Very good Sunday post, Z. It is easy to say that we should forgive those who wrong us, but difficult to do. As my age progresses, some personal wrongs tend to fade, and I let them fade without consciously forgiving. It takes an effort to forgive.

    Sometimes when I wrong someone, I will apologize to them personally and ask God for forgiveness. Is the repentance of which Mustang speaks?

    Should we forgive ISIS for wronging humanity? I say we should stop them by any means necessary. Forgiveness in this case is not easy. How do we face this requirement for forgiveness?

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  12. Bob,
    There was this religious leader in the Middle East.
    He persecuted Christians.
    He chained them, took their possessions and his attention put fear in their hearts.
    In the name of his Middle Eastern religion, he and a group of his comrades entered Syria with the express purpose of quashing the Christian faith there.
    It seems that a lot of his antipathy to the Christian faith was fueled by his exposure to Christianity as he persecuted it.
    He heard testimony of a risen from the dead Savior.
    He saw love and self sacrifice in the name of that Jesus.
    A refusal to bend or cave to his will, but a devotion to the will of Jesus.
    One day he came to the realization that the people he was torturing and killing were right.
    And he converted.
    And the people who had lost friends and relatives to his attacks ended up accepting him and loving him.
    How?
    The power of God working in men.
    Saul became Paul.
    He wrote most of the New Testament.

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  13. Maybe “without forgiveness there can’t be peace” but also no satisfaction like when you get even!
    (just kiddin’).

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  14. BTW Z. Good to hear that about your dad.

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  15. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, No Comments are not in Moderation. I found out that sometimes 2 links at a time are problematic. Try one at a time..?
    Dad was an astonishing man. The best man, in every sense of the word, I ever knew…
    The only ‘fault’ I say he had was impatience…he didn’t suffer fools real gladly, I have to admit. Not unkind, but impatient.
    Mal knew Dad! Mal’s sis and bro-in-law were 2 of my parents’ VERY VERY best friends ….great folks.

    Mal, ‘getting even’ is fun for five minutes, then the guilt swallows me UP! 🙂 And, usually, it’s such a benign ‘getting even’ that it doesn’t warrant guilt!

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  16. geeez2014 says:

    The sermon today talked about this subject a little…in a way… it was on 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13….

    ED,as you mentioned Paul above…it was all about Paul and his sacrifices and how he still went on…loving, forgiving, …through GRACE. And encouraging us to do that. To Love, anyhow.
    Vanity keeps us from TRULY “Entering IN” to a life with Christ…not just ‘accepting Jesus’ (a phrase I often say to myself “That was big of you..” because I don’t agree with that ONE BIT)…but truly leaning into him… receiving grace, peace and heartfelt JOY….Pride keeps us from surrendering all and really ‘entering IN’….

    I believe GRACE gives us a longing to wish even murderers salvation…to pity and pray for the murderer in S Carolina and his parents for what they might be going through no matter what kind of people they are. God finally judges them, grace softens our hearts to them.

    GRACE OFFERS PEACE.

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  17. geeez2014 says:

    Ed…the links to your blog are there now. I released them….they go automatically to moderation…

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  18. Kid says:

    I agree with Mustang. How can you forgive someone who doesn’t even seem to know what he’s done to the full extent of either supporting it or regretting it. My impression from seeing him in custody is that he is completely sociopath about it. He’d do it again tomorrow if given the chance.
    I’d say forgiving him at this stage would only motvate him more to not regret what he’s done.

    Personally, I’d never forgive him as I don’t even view him as a human on the same scale as my neighbors. People like this are defective or made to be defective (psychotic prescription drugs) and therefore need to be removed from society. Like defective robots.

    Since it was mentioned, I view ISIS the same way- dfective robots that need to be removed from our Earth as quickly as possible using the most effective ecconomical means with the least destructive impact on US, since it would be the USA that would do it – that can also allow for ‘collateral damage’.

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  19. Z, maybe so, but its like the old saying about curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back!
    (you know I’m just pullin’ your leg).

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