I am currently reading “What’s so Amazing about Grace?” by Philip Yancey and just wanted to share some great quotes on the subject of forgiveness.
“In his book The Prisoner and the Bomb, Laurens van der Post recounts the misery of his wartime experiences in a Japanese prison camp in Java. In that unlikely place he concluded.
“The only hope for the future lay in an all-embracing attitude of forgiveness of the peoples who had been our enemies. Forgiveness, my prison experience had taught me, was not mere religious sentimentality, it was as fundamental a law of the human spirit as the law of gravity. If one broke the law of gravity one broke one’s neck; if one broke the law of forgiveness one inflicted a mortal wound on one’s spirit and became once again a member of the chain gang of mere cause and effect from which life has laboured so long painfully to escape.”
“Apart from forgiveness, the monstrous past may awake at any time from hibernation to devour the present. And also the future.”
“To bless the people who have oppressed our spirits, emotionally deprived us, or in other ways handicapped us, is the most extraordinary work any of us will ever do,” writes Elizabeth O’Connor.
I’m feeling more and more that our forgiveness of our “oppressors” is one of the cornerstones of my soul growing in love and the way back to my Father. I’m only half way through Philip Yancey’s book and have not come to his description yet of what true forgiveness is and how to do it. Often the Christian prescription is to “let go” of all hurt or to place your hurt at the foot of the cross, and you’ve released it. I would say that Divine Truth teachings go further and thank you to the person who recently published this quote:
“Forgiveness happens at the soul level not at the intellectually level. You can think you have forgiven somebody all you like, but unless the emotional signature of absolutely everything that they’ve done that you thought harmed you is dealt with, you have not forgiven them… Let’s go even further with forgiveness; unless the causal emotion in you is released, you cannot forgive” ~Jesus
20081221 God’s Laws – Law of Compensation, Repentance & Divine Forgiveness P1
One of the trickiest elements of forgiveness is that most of the time if we want to pursue this path we have to forgive before the “oppressor” is repentant. We, who are innocent (in that case at least) must forgive those who we feel have harmed us, acknowledge the wound, expose it and experience it’s pain to heal. That feels mighty tough still to me, how much more natural it feels to hold onto the pain and grief and nurse the resentment to ourselves and I know I wear my pains like a badge of honour – “Look at me, no wonder I have problems with what I suffered.” But all this posturing only acts as an excuse to run away from the hard reality that if I want to become a more loving soul I will have to forgive those who have harmed me and that means I will have to experience and release the pain that I could or would not handle at the time.
I find this recording very inspirational in showing what happens when we do not forgive even when we were the innocent victim. Our refusal to forgive creates a hard heart and a spirit of protection and revenge.