You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.   ~Lewis B. Smedes
 
Philip Yancey, in his book, What’s So Amazing about Grace, has a few chapters on this uncomfortable topic of forgiveness (you know, the thing others need to grant you, but the same thing you can live without giving to others).  He shares the following story in his chapter titled, An Unnatural Act.
 
I had a friend (now dead) who worked on the staff of Wheaton College for many years, during the course of which he heard several thousand chapel messages.  In time most of these faded into a forgettable blur, but a few stood out.  In particular he loved retelling the story of Sam Moffat, a professor at Princeton Seminary who had served as a missionary in China.  Moffat told the Wheaton students a gripping tale of his flight from Communist pursuers.  They seized his house and all his possessions, burned the missionary compound, and killed some of his closest friends.  Moffat’s own family barely escaped.  When he left China, Moffat took with him a deep resentment against the followers of Chairman Mao, a resentment that metastasized inside him.  Finally, he told the Wheaton students, he faced a singular crisis of faith.  ‘I realized,’ said Moffat, ‘that if I have no forgiveness for the Communists, then I have no message at all’ (page 90).   
 
Have you ever found yourself needing to forgive someone but you just felt like you couldn’t possibly bring yourself to do it, or worse yet, you didn’t feel like you should and didn’t much want to either.
 
I have had both of the above take place more times than I have stubbed a toe.  And I have a hunch I am not alone.
 
4Forgive us our sins,
      for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. 
   And lead us not into temptation.  (Jesus, Luke 11:4, NIV)
 
Is there a certain someone that you haven’t forgiven?
 
Don’t wait twenty years to forgive the person who has offended you, or maybe even violated you beyond words.
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