Monday, 2 June 2014

Nothing too big to forgive.

Christians must have a unbreakable capacity to forgive.  Humans obviously don't have that, in our own strength sometimes things are done and we can't conceivably bring ourselves to accept an apology.  It is only in the light of what Jesus has done for us that allows believers to see that in their forgiven state they too can, through God's strength, forgive anything.
Walter Wink tells of two peacemakers who visited a group of Polish Christians ten years after the end of World War II. "Would you be willing to meet with other Christians from West Germany?" the peacemakers asked. "They want to ask forgiveness for what Germany did to Poland during the war and to begin to build a new relationship."
At first there was silence. Then one Pole spoke up. "What you are asking is impossible. Each stone of Warsaw is soaked in Polish blood! We cannot forgive!"
Before the group parted, however, they said the Lord's Prayer together. When they reached the words "forgive us our sins as we forgive...," everyone stopped praying. Tension swelled in the room. he Pole who had spoken so vehemently said, "I must say yes to you. I could no more pray the Our Father, I could no longer call myself a Christian, if I refuse to forgive. Humanly speaking, I cannot do it, but God will give us his strength!" Eighteen months late the Polish and West German Christians met together in Vienna, establishing friendships that continue to this day.
~Philip Yancey - What's So Amazing About Grace, p123
This is just one powerful illustration of how God's grace can bring about seemingly impossible acts of forgiveness.

I would hope that there aren't people who think I am unapproachable because they feel they have broken relationship to a point of no return.  Let me put it out there that I feel compelled to offer forgiveness to all those who ask, just as I feel compelled to ask forgiveness for the wrongs I have done.

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