22 March, 2012

Love And Forgiveness

I've been singing one song a LOT  lately, and it's not been productive in the least. Remember BJ Thomas' "Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song"? I haven't been singing it literally, but I have been living it in the figurative sense. Today's devotional passage on forgiveness came at the exact right moment to drive this ditty away. From Jeremiah 31, the 34th verse: "I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more."  The author of today's lesson, David R. Gillespie*, writes: "Can you and I not only forgive but forget as well? It's hard.  We seem to like our grudges and hold onto them.  We seem to like to pull things out of the past to hold over people's heads. Yes, the heart of God is not like that.  God forgives and forgets.  God doesn't keep our iniquity squirreled away to hold over our heads someday.  And we are called to mirror such forgiveness in our own lives and Christ's disciples."  What good news that was for my hungry ears and begrudging spirit this morning. God forgives... and forgets! I feel lighter already, letting go of heavy grudges and living with an open heart will do that. God just winked at me.
Life is Good!

*David R. Gillespie is a chaplain at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, SC.  He is also a pastoral counselor and spiritual director at Sacred Journeys, a shared ministry with Christ the King Lutheran Church, where he is a member. 

9 comments:

JCnNC said...

Very inspirational and uplifing - heavy hearts and grudges certainly take a lot of energy - thank you for today. Judy C

Salem Stitcher said...

Oh boy, I needed to hear that in a big way. It is SOOO hard to let go of those grudges, big and small. But life would indeed be better if I would. I'm working on it...

Nane said...

We were reminded by our pastor recently that Christianity is the only religion that commands we love our enemies. Tough for this girl to do a lot of the time...but we have to try....Thanks for the reminder

Quiltdivajulie said...

Feeling lighter and less burdened is SUCH a gift ... one we 'forget' to accept all too often.

Thanks for sharing this --

Janet O. said...

I once had a gospel teacher point out that our society has a "get even" mind set, but the scriptures teach, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord". That really struck a chord with me. This post reminded me once again that all of our "evening of the score" is not ours to do at all. And in a true Christian spirit we wouldn't even wish for our enemies to suffer, we would want them to have a change of heart, and enjoy the sweet fruits of repentance. Oh, I have a long way to go! : )

Becky G said...

One of my favorite topics... mostly, because I need to be reminded. Long ago, I realized when I hold a grudge, some part of me believes that in some way the grudge or resentment will protect me from being hurt again. Of course the lack of forgiveness ITSELF hurts me! Father Meninger, one of the monks who brought us the Christian method of Centering Prayer, wrote that forgiveness is the fruit of the process of healing. Seems to me the beginning of healing is setting our intention to seek healing and the willingness to forgive. As always, your posts feed my spirit. Peace friend... b

StitchinByTheLake said...

We have a situation in our family where I wish the ones involved would let go of the past. I'll continue to pray about it but I sure wish they would really hear what you're saying. blessings, marlene

One Minnesota Quilter said...

A great reminder! Thank you for your post.
Judy

Karen Newman Fridy said...

I've heard that harboring grudges and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person.

And I also like the one about not allowing people to live rent-free in your head.

The thing that was an "aha" moment for me was realizing in the Lord's Prayer we ask for the measure of forgiveness from God that we give to other people. Yowza...that's motivation to dole out forgiveness in full measure!! Even if it's hard to do.

Beautiful post...thanks for sharing :)