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Viewpoint from Allan Jeavons 15/06/2012

AL JEAVONSAllan Jeavons

Elder, New Wine Christian Fellowship, Martham


One of the saddest things to hear these days is when somebody says "I'll never forgive them" that bold declaration and firm resolution to never forgive .... ever.  It's sad because in doing so we end up hurting ourselves. The trouble is that we equate forgiveness with a feeling and it isn't. It's a choice.  It might feel like that it’s a difficult choice, but it is still a choice, not a feeling

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The trouble is that we want to wait for the hurt to go first, and then we'll forgive. Maybe we think that by not offering forgiveness we somehow get back at those that have wronged us.  We feel that by letting go we somehow allow them to be off the hook. The reality is different to how we feel. The hook ends up in us and eventually we end up with broken relationships and the hurt growing into a root of bitterness and consequently all that bitterness leads to

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Jesus once said that if you don't forgive, you aren't forgiven. He told us to forgive those who hate us and persecute us, and He demonstrated that by forgiving those that had just nailed him to a cross beam of wood


Jesus’s call for us to forgive is not about a feeling, it was a command.  A command for our own good so that we would be set free from those that have hurt us


The choice to forgive comes first .... we are called consciously to make that choice even though we may feel angry and want just retribution on the guilty.  It is only after we forgive that the pain and hurt goes.  It is what releases the pain, just like a boil that has been lanced.  Sometimes it takes a while and sometimes we might need to forgive again and again


The disciple Peter once asked Jesus, “How many times do we need to forgive,” and Jesus answered, “Seventy times seventy”, which is rabbinic code for as many times as is necessary


Forgiveness helps set us free; it’s for our benefit, not those who have hurt us and it is an action not a feeling

Try it, it works