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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Way Forward Through Forgiveness

The infuriation of conflict,
Is helped only when we own what’s ours,
To understand our own fault,
Is our reliance on all of God’s powers.
***
The only chance we have to shift the stalemate is to own what’s ours, though so many times it still won’t shift the other party. But it does mean we can now move forward – if one (us) can take our own responsibility.
To work through to a way-forward point we need to take responsibility for our side of the impasse. Only when we do so – when we allow God to penetrate our understanding to the point of confession – will we give the relationship any chance at all. And often it’s not truly about this relationship; it’s about our relationship with the Lord. Would we pass into eternity with such baggage to deal with before him? It should never be.
Three Reasons for Taking Responsibility
The primary reason for taking responsibility for our part in the fault is to be honest before God. The secondary reason is to give the relationship, itself, the chance it needs (don’t forget, this is a test of their integrity before the Lord, too). The tertiary reason is for our own peace of mind.
The first reason is most important. It’s between us and God. Conflicts that last and last are at the real peril of becoming a real issue for us if we take the impasse into eternity with us; to face God knowing we should have redressed the matter while we had the chance. See how important it is to forgive someone by seeing our portion of the blame? We cannot expect the full and unmerited forgiveness of God if we are not prepared also to forgive.
The second reason is life – life in this life. We are responsible for the blessing and the cursing of others. We will be held responsible if we withhold our grace. Besides, why in our right minds would we want another person to feel bitterness because of our acts or inactions?
The third reason is also important. We all deserve a peaceful life. We don’t get it unless we know we’ve done all within our own power, so far as it depends on us, to live at peace with everyone. We may not succeed fully, but if we’ve tried our best we should be able to sleep at night.
***
We move forward through forgiveness when we understand three things: 1) If God has forgiven us he expects us to forgive others. 2) Bitterness between people is never good. 3) Living peacefully relies on living at peace with our world.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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