The Power of Forgiveness

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     The strongest man is he who, while sensitive to abuse, will yet restrain passion and forgive his enemies. Such men are true heroes." 1  

     The world today is looking for heroes. September 11, 2001 brought our nation great sorrow, and revealed heroic acts of ordinary people in extraordinary times, performing acts of mercy and self-sacrifice. That kind of heroism is tangible, admired by all witnesses, and rightly so. But the hero described in the preceding quote is not so visible. He/she could be sitting beside you on the bus and you wouldn't know it. However, no matter how unnoticed, unsung, unrecognized by the world, God knows each one and declares them His children, heirs of the kingdom.

     God tells us: "He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have

trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us. . . .

     "David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.' (Psalms 51:10). And again he says, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.' (Psalms. 103:12) . . . .

     "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32). .

      "The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us...  Forgiveness, reconciliation with God, comes to us, not as a reward for our works, it is not bestowed because of the merit of sinful men, but it is a gift unto us, having in the spotless righteousness

 

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