Forgiveness

Corrie ten Boom often thought back over the horrors of Ravensbruck and realized that it was hard to find anywhere in her heart the true Christian attitude for the former Nazis that would reveal through her the Spirit's goodness. Where was love, acceptance, and forgiveness in a horror camp where allegedly more than 95,000 women died? How could she ever forget the horrible cruelty of the guards and the smoke constantly coming from the chimney of the crematorium? Then in 1947 Corrie was speaking in a church in Munich, and when the meeting was over she saw one of the cruelest male guards of Ravensbruck coming forward to speak to her. He had his hand outstretched. "I have become a Christian," he explained. "I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein, will you forgive me?"

A conflict raged in Corrie's heart. The good Spirit of God urged her to forgive. The spirit of bitterness and coldness urged her to turn away. 'Jesus, help me. I can lift my hand. I can do that much.' As their hands met it was as if warmth and healing broke forth with tears and joy. "I forgive you, brother, with all my heart." Later Corrie testified that "it was the power of the Holy Spirit" who had poured the love of God into her heart that day.

By Garrie F. Williams, "Welcome, Holy Spirit," Copyright (c) 1994

I've said it before and I feel I need to say it again . . . forgiveness is an ACT not a FEELING, it's something you do out of obedience to God not something you do when it lines up with your "feelings".

If you remember your English at school you'll know that the word Forgiveness is a VERB - a DOING word, it's an action NOT a feeling. By definition it means "to refrain from imposing punishment on an offender or demanding satisfaction for an offence" - furthermore . . . "without resentment, without bearing a grudge, more in sorrow than in anger ". Corrie ten Boom took a step to forgive by offering her hand and her feelings followed, not the other way around. Her love for God moved those muscles in her arm not her feelings.

C'mon, I'm not saying this because it's popular but because it's the truth - God's truth - don't like it? - - Sorry, I don't mean to be rude but whose problem is that? I learned this one the hard way, but you don't have to. The word "Forgiveness" means: "to give to another in advance" It speaks of pre-emptive Grace -you know that stuff that God showed us at Calvary? Do you have someone to forgive today? They don't deserve it you say? . . . Neither did you when Jesus hung on that cross for you 2000 years ago. Let it go. Set yourself free!

 

HOME