Thursday March 30, 2017
by Joan Webb
Matthew 18:21-35: "How many times shall I forgive...?" (v.21).
"I'll never forgive my father," the young man said. His father had abused him emotionally and verbally, demanding that he think and behave as an adult. Extreme pressure to be an ideal child contributed to a life of perfectionism and obsessive work habits. His childhood experiences were unfair. The young man was understandably angry. He was robbed of the love and security due every little boy. As a young adult the man relived the pain of this wrong each time he vowed "never to forgive that man."
When we refuse to receive and extend forgiveness, we commit ourselves to a personal prison. Extending forgiveness does not mean that we deny the wrong done to us. We admit and face the reality of the injustice. Although we cannot undo the past, we can choose to forgive; and be willing to renew this decision every time unforgiveness rears its head. Feeling the effects of forgiveness may take a long time; it is a process. But deciding to forgive is a step to freedom out of a spiritual and emotional prison. God promises to help us every step along this painful, yet liberating path toward forgiveness.
Lord, this forgiveness journey is difficult and distressing.
But with you I'm finding that it isn't impossible.
That's wonderful news and I'm thankful.
Copyright Joan C. Webb
For more from Joan Webb visit www.joancwebb.com