Sunday, August 15, 2010
The power of apology--the healing of forgiveness
10:58 p.m. Today's project was to go on a very difficult visit out of town. It was financially difficult, because we only had $14.00 for gas; physically difficult, because the Jeep's air conditioning isn't working; and emotionally difficult because an apology had to be delivered concerning wrongs done almost 25 years ago.
The Lord allowed our debit card to work for the gas we needed; somehow we kept a breeze blowing through the windows all the way there, over 2 hours; and the apology was humbly and straightforwardly delivered, and received with surprised gratitude. That things will be different hence is without question, as we acknowledged that while only God can grant true forgiveness, His Holy Spirit is the One within our hearts to give us the strength to ask for and receive forgiveness from one another.
Sincere apologies are transformative, changing the giver and the receiver for the better, for life, if actions follow through from the words and tears. And forgiveness is commanded by scripture. Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive, 7? Jesus answered, 70 x 7. (Matthew 18:21-22) That seems like a lot, unless I think about all of the times God has forgiven me!! (and you!)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14, following the Lord's prayer,
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.
Lord, give us the power to ask and receive forgiveness today!