Mere Christianity: Forgiveness

As I mentioned on my last post, I will be ‘dissecting’ the book: “Mere Christianity” in random sections – those of which I consider of valuable importance.

I honestly believe there is information galore about this topic & people understand its concept remarkably well, the problem arises when they themselves have to actually put it into action – knowing all the while that there is hardly any greater burden lifter. The Bible cannot stress enough the importance of it. And without any further ado I give you Forgiveness in the words of C.S Lewis – first & foremost -:

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.’ There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it. What are we to do? – talk about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a jew during WWII.” (pg. 116)

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”- Mt 6:14, 15

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either – or both – when needed?”

– Gordon B. Hinckley

“I think there are two things we can do to make it easier: If we really want (but all depends on really wanting) to learn how to forgive, perhaps we should start with something easier than the Gestapo. And secondly, we might try to understand exactly what loving your neighbor as yourself means. I have to love him as I love myself. Well, how exactly do I love myself?” (pg. 116)

– Starting with smaller things will tone our forgiveness muscle.-

“Loving my enemies does not mean thinking them nicer (than they are). That is an enormous relief. For a good many people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain that (most of them) are. I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man’s actions, but not hate the bad man – hate the sin, not the sinner.- For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did & not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I have been doing this all my life – namely myself. However much I might dislike my own sins, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated my sins was that I loved the man.” (pg. 117)

‎”You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you & feel the power to wish them well.”- Lewis B. Smedes

“What is meant in the Bible about loving you enemies is wishing them well, that does not necessarily include saying they are nice when they are not. God intends us to love all selves in the same way. Perhaps it makes it easier if we remember that that is how He loves us. Not for any nice, attractive qualities we think we have, but just because we are the things called selves.” (pg. 120)
To forgive people who’ve hurt us or those we love is no easy task, it requires a great deal of selflessness, maturity & prayer. Jesus knew that, therefore He gave us the ultimate example of forgiveness, He willingly was slain because He loved us without reserves or conditions. Nothing we can possibly do is out of reach of The Lord’s forgiving arms, once we choose to wholeheartedly repent from our sins.

If He forgave us… the question is: “Who are we not to?”

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