Friday, November 12, 2010
Free of Charge
A book order has arrived with two additions to my burgeoning collection on the subject of forgiveness. One is Embodying Forgiveness by L. Gregory Jones and the other is Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf. It could be argued that I am obsessed by the subject, although I would respond by saying that it is because forgiveness is a recurring subject in real-life discussions with those who seek me out. The spiritual tug of war matches individuals, families, and even congregations engage in never seem to abate. Of course, forgiveness is intertwined with God's love in Christ.
I read recently that the 32 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months have made a pact not to speak about the first 17 days before contact from the surface. Book and movie rights to those days will likely make them all wealthy. At least one has offered a "teaser" saying that when any one of them messed up under the many pressures of being trapped the individual was required to stand before the others and ask for forgiveness. It was a big factor in saving their sanity and solidarity. Is that what we should all do I wonder?
How are you doing when it comes to "laying your burdens down?" I find that just when I think I have chased the demons of anger and resentment out the door, I turn around and discover they have sneaked back into the room and they're grinning at me! Are you able to forgive those who have wronged you, and have you sought forgiveness from those you have wronged? Does knowing that Christ forgives you make a difference to your ability to let go?