Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Third Sunday of Lent

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

Matthew 18:21-22
What a different world we would live in if forgiveness were give as freely and as often. How many relationship saved? How many homes with peace restored? How many families kept together? How many counseling offices left empty? How many bottles of Rolaids unopened? 

But forgiveness is not easy. 

"Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive." - CS Lewis

We have no problem saying, "I forgive you."; forgiveness is another thing altogether.

Forgiveness is unconditional.

"I forgive you....Well, just until you hurt me again.  I'll keep the knife sharp, just in case." 

Forgiveness is total release; not so much the person forgiven, but the one who forgives. For when we refuse to forgive, we hold more than the other carries.
When we refuse to forgive, we hold darkness inside ourselves, and refuse light into our lives.

When we refuse to forgive, we deny healing and allow the cancer to consume us.

When we refuse to forgive, we reveal to God our arrogance, and proverbially flip Him off.

When we refuse to forgive, we sin.

"Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again." - St. Augustine
Now that sounds familiar.

Lord, in Your love and mercy, You are faithful to forgive us, when we hurt You and others. As You have given us unconditional forgiveness, enable us to give the same to others. For when we unconditionally forgive, we reveal Your light to a culture of unforgiven. Amen

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