November 18, 2008
I know the New Testament directive for believers in Christ to forgive those who have hurt them. I know the medical research shows those who truly forgive from their hearts are less likely to suffer certain types of illnesses. I know holding anger toward and disliking those who have caused hurt is, as the old saying goes, like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.
Still, it was a passage from Lewis B. Smedes' book, Forgive and forget: healing the hurts we don't deserve, that convinced me beyond all doubt of the power and virtue of forgiveness. I can't totally control what others do, but I can cause a counter-effect to their actions. In other words, they may have the last word, but I can have the last action.
Listen to the passage (click on this post's title) from Lewis B. Smedes' Forgive and forget: healing the hurts we don't deserve. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984. There is a 2007 reprint available. Read this book; if you are ready for the message, the message will change your life. If you are not ready, this book will help you get ready. If you don't want to get ready, this book will help you understand that rare soul who really does turn the other cheek and walk away from conflict.