30
Nov
09

The healing power of forgiveness

There is nothing quite like it. Nothing that has the same power to set you free. Often there is nothing quite so difficult. Often you have to practice it over and over again. Often it doesn’t produce change in anybody else but yourself. And yet, it’s always well worth the agony of doing it. We’re talking about forgiveness!

It’s essential to forgive to live in freedom. There is no way around it. I know many people who don’t live in forgiveness with other people and who are suffering because of that. I have been in situations where I didn’t forgive people. I was also suffering. A wise person once said these clever words:

Unforgiveness is the poison I drink while waiting for someone else to die!

These are powerful and true words. It’s always sad when you see people who choose not to forgive. So often it’s small things that hinder deeper and more fulfilling relationships. Words were said, value statements were put on people, and people choose to hold a grudge, stay in a place of self-righteousness, and the cancer of bitterness grows inside of you. It’s always like this. Whether you agree with this or not. Whether you are a Christian or not. Unforgiveness is a cancer that kills. It slowly takes life out of you. Whatever person you choose not to forgive, you’re tied to. You give the other person power. Power to control your life. You think about the other person, and you know that you lack peace and joy inside of you. It’s the power of sin. As Christians, as children of God we are forgivers per nature. We have been given a new nature, the very nature of Christ. And since he forgave us of everything, we are free to forgive other people for whatever they may do to us.

It’s the way of freedom. It always brings life. It always builds up relationship. It’s the road of brokenness. It’s the road less traveled. It’s always easy to find people, inside or outside the church, who will agree with you that it’s not reasonable for you to forgive, and that you’re right in holding a grudge. But the truth is that forgiveness has nothing to do with ‘fairness’. It’s a choice of life or death. If you forgive, you experience life in your relationships to God, yourself and other people. If you choose not to forgive, you experience bitterness and a lack of life.

Is forgiving easy? No, it rarely is. True forgiveness is painful. Often very painful. But it’s also freeing. I let go of the right I feel to judge and condemn other people, and I’m free to just be me, a human being who is aware of the fact that I often make mistakes myself and hurt other people and need their forgiveness.

Unless you’ve been broken by God and understand the power of living as a broken cup and relying on his strength and not your own, it’s nearly impossible to forgive. Why would you? You can always finds reasons why you shouldn’t take the first step towards forgiveness. Your flesh will tell you that your anger and lack of forgiveness is well justified. And other people will too. Misery attracts company, so it’s often fairly easy to find somebody to sit and whine with. It doesn’t bring any life at all. It just fans the flame of bitterness inside of you. Forgiveness is the highroad that’s painful, but life-giving to travel. It’s the road where Christ is and leads you. “Forgive them Father, they don’t know what they’re doing” were some of Jesus’ lasts words. He left us an example of how to live our lives. We are free to forgive, because we’re forgiven. Forgiveness, like anything else of great value in the Christian walk, is a response. We forgive, because God forgave, just like we love, because he first loved us, and we can draw near to him, because he first drew near to us.

I encourage you to forgive whatever wrong people may have done to you. It will bring life. Guaranteed.

Blessings, Torben

I love one of the first lines in this song: “You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete”

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2 Responses to “The healing power of forgiveness”


  1. 1 Annie Glistrup
    December 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Hej Torben
    Det med tilgivelse er svært-ofte oplever jeg også at der skal en vis styrke til for at indrømme min svaghed og bede om undskyldningen. At give tilgivelsen er en anden og nemmere sag, ihvert fald hvor der er en undskyldning fra den anden. Jeg nyder stadig din blog-skriv skriv skriv- tror det må være en af dine gaver! i Kristus, Annie

  2. December 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Hejsa Annie! Du har ret i, at det er sværere at bede om tilgivelse. Mahatma Gandhi sagde: “”The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”, og jeg antager, at han talte om, hvad du siger. Det føles svagt at indrømme, at jeg har svagheder, men faktisk er det det ultimative eksempel på styrke (i Kristus!), når jeg beder om tilgivelse og indrømmer, at jeg laver fejl. Det er ikke noget, jeg har lyst til at gøre i min egen styrke, men i Kristi styrke er det faktisk blevet lettere og lettere for mig at bede om tilgivelse – hvilket jeg ser som et godt eksempel på frugt i mit liv! Jeg tager ingen ære for den udvikling.

    Og tak for opmuntringen mht blogskrivningen – jeg skal nok fortsætte 🙂

    Kærlig hilsen Torben


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