Forgiveness…the essential first step.

This is so timely:

I found this video today on a friend’s facebook page.  I love God’s little ‘coincidences!’  It is especially timely as I had been entrenched the last couple of days in a blog dealing with racism.  Within the thread(s) I finally expressed my own frustration with attempting to address the issue and concluded that it could not be done without going to the root and addressing the underlying sin issue.  There is only one cure for sin and that is forgiveness.  Since all sin ultimately is against God – we must come to Jesus Christ, the means of His forgiveness.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, NIV)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)

We must realize that we all have sin and come to Jesus to receive His forgiveness.  Then we are able to go and give the forgiveness that we have freely received.

Forgiveness does not deny past or even present injustice.  But when we fail to forgive we build our own prison, and will not be happy until every one else is in there with us – and even with company in our misery, we still are miserable.  But having an attitude of forgiveness puts us in a place where we are able to move beyond, to establish relationship through reconciliation.  We are freed.  Then we are able to move forward seeking justice together.

Immaculee gives us a tremendous example of forgiveness overcoming horrific injustice.  It all began with prayer:

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV)

And then Immaculee realized that hate was trying to grow in her own heart, then a conviction, and then a simple decision not to hate but to overcome hate with forgiveness.  Wow!!!  God’s grace grows and flows in the midst of hatred and  injustice.

Forgiveness is the essential first step towards true reconciliation and to overcoming racism and injustice in our world.  Freedom comes through forgiveness.  It is the essential first step.  And it begins with Jesus Christ who forgave us at the peak of His pain so that we could be free.  Freely we have been forgiven, freely we must forgive.


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