On the Assemblyboard, the subject of forgiveness has frequently been discussed from many different angles. I’d like to share something on this subject that has been a strong help to me recently.
Suffering that we endure, as a direct consequence of other people’s words or actions, will frequently produce in us a response of anger, bitterness, and sometimes, even hate. To my understanding, this is a very normal, natural, human response; however, it is not a Christ honouring response. The only Christ-honouring response is that of forgiveness and love.
Often when I am confronted with this pickle (dilemma), everything inside me screams: “NO! NEVER! I cannot forgive that!” Then, the Lord convicts my heart, and my strong desire to please the Lord comes to the forefront. Consequently, an inner battle begins in my soul that can greatly vary in its intensity. For me, the duration of this battle also varies greatly from a few minutes to a few years, depending on the depth of the suffering inflicted. God is teaching me and helping me to walk the road of forgiveness and love; and by His grace, I want to stay on this road.
One thing that has been a terrific help recently has been the DVD, The Hiding Place with Special Features. I highly recommend it for anyone struggling with the issue of forgiveness. You can get the DVD with only the movie “The Hiding Place” on it, or you can get the DVD with both the movie “The Hiding Place” and “The Special Features” on it. Make sure you get the DVD with Special Features. You can buy it at any Christian Bookstore.
In the Special Features, Corrie ten Boom tells of her life after she was released from the German concentration camp. If anyone has a right to be angry, bitter and full of hate, it would be Corrie. However, she spent the rest of her life spreading the message of forgiveness and love. She traveled to 64 countries with this message. Since she knew what it was to be in solitary confinement in prison, she even went into prisons with this message.
She also established a rehabilitation center for others coming out of the concentration camps. In the Special Features, she states that the ones, who were able to forgive, found healing in their souls and were able to go on and lead productive lives. Those who were unable to forgive never found healing in their souls and struggled to lead a productive life.
She also tells of her own struggles to forgive. For example, at one point, she met the nurse who had been cruel and callous to Betsy, when Betsy was dying. Corrie immediately became very angry and full of bitterness and hate. So she prayed, “Lord take away my hate and bitterness and pour Your love into my heart for this woman.” She claimed the verse in Romans 5:5b, which states: “…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” The Lord filled Corrie’s heart with love and forgiveness for this nurse, who had been cruel to Betsy; and Corrie had the blessing of leading that nurse to Christ.
This DVD has been a terrific help to me with the issue of forgiveness, and I know of other ones that it has helped as well.
For anyone struggling with the issue of forgiveness, I highly recommend the “The Hiding Place with Special Features” DVD.
May the Lord richly bless you,
Romans 5:5b “…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”