Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Forgiveness Is a Balm of Gilead

I was a good grudge holder. I used to try to out last my brother in remembering offences. Many times I heard the saying "forgive and forget", but some how I could not let go of things until the offending party had thoroughly abased themselves. But it didn't come to mind that it takes two to have an argument. Forgiving does not come naturally; it must be cultivated, nurtured. A grudge can destroy a relationship, and part the closest of friends; but a forgiving and forbearing spirit can be a salve over wounds.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2Cor 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

We are told many times in Scripture to forgive our brothers in the faith. God desires that His church be united and that cannot be if are ever ready to take offence and hate our brethren. We are also to forgive our enemies. Jesus did not break Satan's hold on the world by sheer might, but by the power of forgiveness and love.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Luke 23:34a Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ...

And so, even as Christ did, so should we do. Let us apply the love of Christ to a hurting church, and a lost and sinful world.

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“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” Bryant H. McGill

“Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.” Saint Augustine

“Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.” William Arthur Ward

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” Henry Ward Beecher

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