Forgiveness in the crucible

By Dave Henning / March 8, 2016

Today June Hunt puts the issue of forgiveness in the crucible (Chapter 5, How to Forgive) as she discusses the second most common rationale she’s heard that creates a barrier to forgiveness.  As Ms. Hunt describes it, putting the issue of forgiveness in the crucible is “where lofty thoughts meet the earthly reality of suffering.”

2.  “He doesn’t deserve it.”  June states that many people believe they either can’t or shouldn’t have to forgive an offender who shows no remorse or contrition.  Yet, because God’s grace is available to everyone, our willingness to forgive should not be selective or conditional.

The gift of forgiveness is not dependent on the offender’s willingness to receive it.  In fact, the offender may reject an offer of forgiveness because accepting that offer requires acknowledging the need for forgiveness!  The blessing of the gift is for the one forgiving.  We are empowered by Christ’s agape love to forgive those who have “plunged a knife in our heart or a spear in our side.”

Ms. Hunt notes that, just as someone who severely wounds us isn’t easily forgiven, massive blocks of marble needed by a sculptor aren’t easily removed.  It is a painstaking process.  But when we present the overbearing blocks weighing us down to the Master Sculptor, He creates an unexpected masterpiece, as June describes:

“He will carefully chisel away everything that does not conform you to the character of Christ.  By God’s grace and in His time, you will truly be able to forgive offenses even as large as a mammoth slab of marble.  He will hoist away the heaviest hurt- the burden you thought you would always bear, but will use the experience to mold you, to sculpt you into a masterpiece.”

Today’s question: Which of Ms. Hunt’s barriers to forgiveness has/have been most problematic for you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Forgiveness is not a feeling”

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Dave Henning

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