“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you.” John 1:9
Desmond Tutu rose to the position of Arch Bishop in the country of South Africa. He led in the struggle against apartheid. One of the positions he held during this time was chairing the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation. “No Future Without Reconciliation” was its slogan. Archbishop Tutu believed in its truth that he made it a title of one of his books. He believed forgiveness to be the most powerful thing in the world. Forgiveness transforms like nothing else. It brings healing. It removes a burden that can crush the life out of a relationship and a family. Forgiveness allows us to stand up straight without pretending. It also possesses the power to release the quiet secret, horror of personal guilt and shame, which can quite literally paralyze a person. Forgiveness can bring healing when nothing else can.
N.T. Wright, biblical scholar sites in his book Simply Jesus how forgiveness and healing go together, “Whole societies can be crippled by ancient grudges that turn feuds into forms of civil war. Families can be torn apart by a single incident or one person’s behavior that is never faced and so is never forgiven. “And when this is the results, writes Dr. Wright, “there remains that wound that never is healed.” Sadly, we all know the feeling because we all have been there.
Is there someone who needs your forgiveness or maybe the time has come for you to break the silence with “Please forgive me”?
Pastor Dave Johnson
Lord, give me the desire and strength to forgive as you have forgiven me. You know the pain and the sorrow. Bring healing for not just me but for others. Amen