Forgive:To Give Up Resentment

  Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
(Psalm 32:1-2 NLT)
 
 
One of my favorite and most challenging spiritual writers would have to be Henri Nouwen.
 
A compilation of his teaching on Solitude, Community and Ministry can be found in the book, A Spirituality of Living.
 
In the book he defines, forgiveness this way:
 
“Forgiveness is to allow
the other person not to be God.”
 
 
Nouwen’s devotion below speaks of forgiving the Church, which really would mean forgiving each other as well, since we make up the Church.ο»Ώ
 
Forgiving the Church

When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, “I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,” we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as “over there” but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.

 
- Henri J. M. Nouwen

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2 thoughts on “Forgive:To Give Up Resentment

  1. The 'church' is people………and when our eyes are on people we will always be disappointed. Yes, they are not God, but God uses them to help us see Him and to refine us, emphasis on the 'refine us' part.(I'm listening to a message about forgiveness this morning myself. How a propos πŸ™‚

  2. Jody- This is so true, that God uses people to refine us…I liked Nouwen's concept in the book that we not only have to forgive people for hurting us, but just let them off the hook for being human, we do not have the undconditional capacity to meet needs like God does…it's a fine balance between ignoring behavior and forgiving behavior and holding people accountable for their behavior…but I have found freedom in not trying so hard myself and letting others off the hook to be everything I want them to be for me…hope that makes some sense πŸ™‚

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