Psalm 130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. 8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Forgiveness the most powerful of weapons; forgiveness is actually healthy and is scientifically proven that harbouring resentment causes higher blood pressure and therefore increases the chance of have a heart attack. Forgiveness though needs to be received; one has to be ready to be forgiven and to go through that guilt, shame. Redemption is a journey and requires the two elements of giving and receiving forgiveness.
Read this story: (Matthew 18) Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
The two elements this time I different order; receiving and then giving forgiveness- although in this case the servant who received forgiveness did not spread the forgiveness and therefore ruined the equilibrium of life and so his forgiveness was withdrawn. He was not ready to receive forgiveness, essentially he just wanted to get away with it. Wanted to take away with and being able to receive forgiveness are very different things.
Bill Hicks tells an andecdote of two Christian red necks not being happy with one his jokes and collaring him outside the gig and saying, “Hey Mr. Joker man; we didn’t like your jokes!” To which Hicks replied, “So forgive me.” Forgiveness is not avoiding a situation but confronting it understanding, admitting and reconciling, which is painful.
Redemption is painful.
Understanding is needed on both sides, understanding of self in the fullest of senses and in particular what would you have done in the same situation, how would you feel? The willingness to understand of course is provoked by love; and not necessarily love of the individual, but a broader, life encompassing pure love, at all times, in all places for all people.
Read these stories:- which I poached from the Readers Digest; Iranian woman Samereh Alinejad had told the The Associated Press that “retribution had been her only thought” after her teenage son was murdered. But in a dramatic turn at the gallows, literally moments before the killer was to be executed, Alinejad made a last-minute decision to pardon the man. She is now considered a hero.
In May 2014, New York Times photographer Peter Hiogo began a photo essay project in Rwanda to demonstrate the forgiveness between the Hutus and Tutsis—the two cultures involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took millions of lives. In the photos, members from both cultures stand by side like Francine Mukagasana and Olivier Habyarimana here, illustrating a story of forgiveness and how the subjects’ lives are now thoroughly intertwined.
Powerful stories. We are called as people of faith to embrace forgiveness. We need to embrace it for ourselves because unless we understand forgiveness we cannot learn how to forgive. And knowing that we have received forgiveness then we must spread that forgiveness.
And the forgiveness we have may not always be pure; as in the quote by Oscar Wilde; “Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much.” —Oscar Wilde,
Or we may recognise the positive effect it can have on us, the words of Mandela; “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” —Nelson Mandela,
And perhaps one day we will strive to be as pure as this mother teresa quote. “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” —Mother Teresa,
Sometimes our motives maybe not be great; but the application is alwaysthe same;- You have been forgiven, go and do likewise.