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Friday: Further Thought ~ Little Times of Trouble — 19 Comments

  1. I'm back from my holiday - only just. I'm a bit jet-lagged after 30 hours of flying and sitting around in airports from Iceland to Australia. Hopefully my contribution to this discussion this morning will not be a reflection of the scrambled state of my mind.

    The lesson this week has carried a substantial element of forgiveness in the arena of family relationships. This topic is perhaps the most important of the whole series of lessons. I would like to offer a couple of thoughts to ponder:

    1. Forgiveness is not just a few words, but a way of living. It isn't over when you say the words, "I forgive you!", but it is a commitment to rebuilding a relationship. That is hard work and it tough love in practice. When a relationship is broken, rebuilding it is not easy for either side. In our humanness, the person doing the forgiving is often tempted to enjoy the view from the high moral ground, and that is not forgiveness.

    2. Forgiveness is not always accepted. Christ offers forgiveness to all, but few accept that forgiveness. In human relationships, offered forgiveness is often ignored. Forgiveness, or the willingness to forgive, does not automatically mend relationships. We must understand that two parties are involved in the act of forgiveness. And sometimes, unfortunately, forgiveness is sometimes abused by the wronged party. Jesus, instructions about how often one should offer forgiveness was not an invitation to accept abuse. Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from the other party because that person is not committed to accepting that forgiveness.

    The big picture for this week's lesson is that Christianity has a substantial investment in the notion of forgiveness.

    It is great to be back home again. Carmel and I had a great time away.

  2. Welcome back Maurice. I really appreciate your comment especially your point that "Forgiveness is a way of living"

  3. I was excited to see that you had returned. Your comments are always helpful! I'm glad you and Carmel enjoyed your trip!

  4. Welcome back. It is always good to be back home, even if it is not as nice as where you were. Not saying your home isn't nice, but you know what I mean.

  5. Welcome back Maurice.. You were certainly missed. I always forward to your thoughts on the lessons.

  6. Thank you folk for your warm welcome back. It is great to be among friends. I look forward to continuing our discussions on these important lessons.

  7. Hi Maurice,
    I like what you said 'It isn't over when you say the words, "I forgive you!", but it is a commitment to rebuilding a relationship.' I think that you are saying to us: even if you are the one that have been wronged (or offended), we should take it upon ourselves to rebuild the relationship.

    Oftentimes, people that have wronged us do not ever apologize, or ask for our forgiveness, because they are 'ashamed' for the way that they behaved, and some don't know how to change their behavior. That's where we are Christians, Disciples of Christ (disciple makers), come in. Forgiveness is just the first step in rebuilding the relationship; we need to make the second step, and maybe even the third step, toward rebuilding the relationship. If the person doesn't know how to change their behavior, or how to approach us, we should approach them; a good second step could be as simple as offering them a copy of "Steps to Christ"; that book has helped sooo many people all around the world.

    I know that taking the first step, and then the second step, when you are the person that was wronged, is not always easy, especially when it is a family member. At the beginning of this year, I was wronged by an extended family member. I told her that I forgive her; she never apologized to me or ask for my forgiveness, and this is a person that I have helped so many times in the past. Anyway, I told her that I forgive her, but I never took that next step to rebuild our relationship, so there is still a wall up in our relationship to this day; neither one of us have started working on rebuilding the relationship.

    So, this summer I am going to take that second step (and third step) to rebuild the relationship with her (I'll keep you all update with the results of the second step). (Thanks Maurice for the motivation to do this) I challenge all of you to do the same with someone that has wronged you.

    Think of where we all would be if Jesus stopped at just forgiving us. He takes more than 100 steps every day to draw us closer to Him! Be blessed everyone!

  8. Sometimes it’s not about rebuilding the relationship. Saying sorry and forgiving someone may not necessarily mean restoration.

    • Very true. It takes two to rebuild a relationship and sometimes you can only offer forgiveness. The other party has free choice and may well decide not to accept forgiveness.


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