Today author Mary DeMuth continues her discussion of nine surprising things about forgiveness in Chapter 9 of The Wall Around Your Heart.
4. Forgiveness fosters empathy. We must believe that God’s grace is big enough to cover the sins of those who have hurt us. As Mary notes, grace extends to us as well as to those who hurt us. Before a holy God, we’re all sinners in need of pardon and mercy.
5. Forgiveness doesn’t answer every question. This specifically applies to the “Why” question. Even though that question seems to hand around on a subconscious level, we may not get our answer this side of heaven. The truth is that God will redeem our pain. Mary adds that, counterintuitively, she sees God more in the midst of relational pain than she sees Him in harmony. Through the Holy Spirit, trials can plunge us back into God’s embrace.
6. Forgiveness is not cheap grace. The author cites Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s definition:
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”
Real grace calls out sin and applies redemption in healthy doses.
Today’s question: How does a proper understanding of grace help foster forgiveness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Forgiveness- Part 3”