The Power of Forgiveness
The Bible is filled with examples of God’s love for His people and the call to love others. But did you know that the need to forgive is the second most important theme?
Time and again, Jesus teaches about the need to forgive others and our own need to seek forgiveness. There are two things we need to consider when thinking about forgiveness:
- Why forgiveness is a hard thing to do?
- Why forgiveness is important?
When Jesus hung on the cross with death approaching, instead of cursing his executioners and those who condemned him to death, He said: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do?” Luke 23:34.
Forgiveness is hard
Forgiveness is hard because it makes us vulnerable. Forgiveness calls us to revisit our past hurt, which can sit uncomfortably with many of us. It is sometimes easier to hold on to our pain as some bizarre form of comfort or self-pity. This is not a very helpful strategy for healing hurt.
Forgiveness is important
Why does Christ emphasise forgiveness again and again in His teachings, prayers, and example? Our world is broken. It can often seem like evil has won. Selfishness, corruption, greed, pride, anger, and division permeate our world and our lives. It can be hard to believe that goodwill ever wins out.
But there is a weapon the enemy does not have. A single weapon powerful enough to reconcile the world and bring us back to God, and that is forgiveness. Through forgiveness, good wins out over evil. People are brought back together, hurt is healed, a grudge reconciled, and hate is overcome. Through forgiveness, our broken world can be set right. Forgiveness brings peace to a world desperate for peace.
Consider the following:
How is God calling you to forgive in your life?
Who and where are the people who have hurt you? How can you forgive them?
Forgiveness can often seem overwhelming and even impossible. Hand your hurt over to God and ask Him to help you shed the pain. Ask God to replace the pain with His grace.
“Cast all your burdens on Jesus because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
During this Lenten period, may we experience God’s mercy and forgiveness and extend that forgiveness to others.
Jilly Landers | Director of Mission