Monday, September 27, 2010

The F Word


"The test of whether we have forgiven someone is not whether we remember the incident but in the attitudes and behaviors we exhibit. We know we have forgiven someone when we are no longer controlled by the pain...In other words, we remember the occurrence, but it no longer has power over our thinking and behavior.
 "Forgiving is better than forgetting, but God does both. Micah 7:18-19 describes God's style of forgiving. Don't you love it? God doesn't stay mad at us because he loves to show mercy and compassion. Instead he stomps on our confessed sins and flings them into the ocean. What vivid and liberating images! And then, he does what we can't do: 'I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more' (Isaiah 43:25).
"God's style of forgiveness serves as a model for us as we attempt to forgive with mercy and compassion; we don't need to worry about forgetting."
~Marilyn Meberg

"I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us."
~Corrie Ten Boom

My professor this week, an American missionary in South America, discribed forgiveness as a bell. Now imagine a bell high up in a bell tower, and some guy goes and begins ringing the bell. He pulls on the rope and it begins to ring and ring. He continues this for several minutes, then stops pulling on the rope and leaves the bell tower completely. But even after he stopped, the bell has momentum, and keeps swinging and thus keeps making sound. But it slows and slows until it finally stops. No more swinging, no more ringing. That's how it is with forgiveness. We choose to let the rope go. We might still here the sounds of what that person did, but over time, it becomes less and less. But we stop ringing the bell. That is how we get peace.

Lord God, thank you for your mercy and compassion and for your incredible gift of forgiveness. Lord, help me to model your forgiveness.

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