When we speak of forgiveness, what do we mean? Forgiveness is not a compromise of our morality. Forgiveness is not saying something is ok. Nor is forgiveness done merely to avoid a conflict.Forgiveness involves three aspects. They are Release, an Application of Grace and Truth, and a New Way at Looking at Others.
A release means to choose someone you have been holding in your debt, holding in resentment and bitterness and releasing him or her from it. This is not turning a blind eye toward any injustice. Rather, forgiveness simply means that you choose to release somebody from personal obligation to you. In Matthew Peter asks: "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother, when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus responds, "Seventy times seventy."
When one seeks to make an application of grace and truth, we are fulfilling what Jesus meant when he came to us "full of grace and truth." If we are firmly rooted in grace and the truth of God ... even when a flood wipes away everything we own ... we don't let evil turn us to evil. Rather when tragedy strikes, we know that we are not alone. Why? Because we have the moral strength to be able to stand up in the face of evil and forgive.
Yes, forgiveness at its core means a new way at looking at others. It means you and I look at people for what they can be and not what they have done.
Often we allow bitterness and vindictiveness to block us from forgiving others. We become so involved in the event that happened that we become just as bitter as the other person.
Forgiveness allows us to let go of this bitterness and we not only set the other person free, we also free ourselves.Forgiveness restores us by restoring our relationship with God. It restores our love by "He who has been forgiven little loves little." Making us to recognize how much each day we need God's forgiveness. Thereby, forgiveness helps to restore relationships. Our relationship with God and with our family and friends is what makes this a better place to live.
Forgiveness is what the world needs now in face of the shooting in Arizona. What our country needs today is to ask God for forgiveness for our ungodly ways.
May God bless you and lead you to forgive that person who has loaded you down with guilt and anger.
Dr. Charles M. Wood, II is an accomplished instructor of psychology and religion at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. He is a Christian counselor in Logan — serving, ministering, and donating his time to people from all denominations.
If you would like to contact Dr. Wood, please write: The Logan Banner, c/o The Good Life With Dr. Wood, P.O. Box 720, Logan, WV 25601; or call (304) 752-4658. All letters addressed to Dr. Wood will be forwarded to his office.