Sunday, April 12, 2015

Seriously, What Would Happen?

 No matter your creed, we all understand forgiveness to be a powerful thing.  We see stories about a woman forgiving and even building a relationship with her son's murder, and we are in awe.  Forgiveness like this takes great courage and an extraordinary selflessness love.  I believe we can all accept that this kind of forgiveness as straight up unnatural.

What would happen if we couuld forgive each other?
photo by Jason Ortega via Unsplash

A couple months ago, my church went over 6 different things we wish Jesus had never said.  It was an attention grabbing series, and it spawned a lot of discussion in my small group.  One of the questions brought up was how might forgiveness and love for one's enemies change the culture around us?

Think about that.  Right now, really, think about everything that would be different if all of us were able to forgive.  Every person, every people group, every culture.  For everyone to have a clean slate. To have a second chance.  Your in-laws, the girl you slighted in middle school, your boss who holds so many grudges.  What if all of these people would let go of their desire for restitution and  forgive the debt you owed them?  What if people sought to move on and find healing; how much healthier we would be!

What if the cultures who have been oppressed and marginalized, what if they were able to see the history of what's happened yet not harbor bitterness over the past?  What if the downtrodden could reach out to those around and say "Let's make this generation different."  What if those who've been scorned for their ancestors' wrongs would be welcomed as new allies against the injustices that plague our world?

What if you forgave the damage done to you?  What if you let go of the atonement you're entitled to?  Let go of revenge?  That wouldn't mean that what happened was right, and that wouldn't mean trust wouldn't have to be earned back.  It means that you're finding freedom.  You're setting free the person who hurt you and yourself.  You hold the greatest power in your heart's restoration, and this is one of the greatest, most magnificent and mysterious ways to accomplish that restoration.

Forgiveness is hard, but forgiveness is worth it.
I believe in forgiveness.   

What would happen if we forgave each other?

Further reading: Check out Positively Present's writing on forgiveness, which inspired this post.
You can also check out the podcast of the sermon, Love your Enemies from Renovation Church, here.

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