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Monday, July 9, 2012

Forgiveness In the Family

“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”

~Psalm 130:3-4 (NIV)

Family times are typically high times where get-togethers become historical occasions added to the scrapbook of life. Yet, out of this backdrop comes many a family feud; out of nowhere, usually for all protagonists, comes conflict that, for a time, cannot be reconciled. Then, there is the inevitable issue of resolution and forgiveness and healing—one that stalks like wisdom in the night; silently it makes its way known to us, and to others, through our consciences.

After all, we need to be able to live with ourselves; that means living peaceably with our loved ones. When all our relationships are going well most of life is, too.

Every Human Being’s Yearning – To Experience Forgiveness

Whether people like this or not makes no difference, but it still proves to be a barrier.

The truth is we are wired with the yearning to experience forgiveness—of others, certainly, but to know deep within that sense of self-acceptance that can surely only come from knowing God’s forgiveness for the things we do and have done wrong.

Indeed, it says something of our personal battle—to get along with ourselves, peaceably—that we yearn for the finding of forgiveness; to know that everything’s okay with us.

We really do need the saving message of grace to know that forgiveness never fails and we can never fail too much. Forgiveness finds hope in the narrative of God. When we believe, we never give up on forgiveness.

Family – Source Of Conflict And Learning For Forgiveness

Nobody will tug at our heartstrings and find our emotional pressure points, and therefore our weaknesses, like family will. God has gifted us with our families so we will be regularly reminded of the need for humility in order to live successfully.

Family is both a primary source of testing conflict and, therefore, the most important learning ground for forgiveness. The Lord will never deprive us the opportunity to learn forgiveness; for this reason we have family, whether close or distant, or by blood or allegiance (for, some that don’t have family may have family elsewhere in the matter of friends, colleagues, or acquaintances—with these, too, there will be conflict for the same purposes).

Learning to forgive is the most important competency for maturation.


Achieving and finding forgiveness is central to finding our identity. Knowing how to deal with conflict in order to achieve forgiveness, particularly in the family, is probably the most important of all life skills.

When we have experienced forgiveness can we serve God, appropriately, by serving first our families.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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