Forgiveness- a beautiful word?

By Dave Henning / March 8, 2017

“Forgiveness is a beautiful word when you need it.  It is an ugly word when you have to give it.”- Dr. Tony Evans

As Dr. Tony Evans concludes Chapter 9 of Detours, he notes that forgiveness operates on two levels: unilateral and transactional.  In this chapter, Tony explains unilateral forgiveness.  Unilateral forgiveness:

  • occurs when you forgive someone even though the person hasn’t asked for or requested it, nor repented of what they did to you
  • gives you a new level of access to God, a more intimate relationship with Jesus
  • gives you hope in the harm, peace in the problems

So, Tony asks, what if you still feel the pain after you forgive someone?  That doesn’t seem fair, right?  Tony’s answer? – “It may not be fair, but it will set you free.”  The author illustrates.

In years gone by, the bells in the bell towers of English churches hung on a rope.  Therefore, to ring the bells, someone climbed to the top of the bell tower, grabbed the rope, and began to swing it.  However, when the person finally let go of the rope, the bells kept ringing.  The momentum of past swings kept the bells ringing.  Eventually, the past movements and motions slowed down, then stilled.

In conclusion, Dr. Evans applies ringing bells to forgiveness:

“Forgiveness doesn’t stop the bell from ringing . . . the pain from showing up.  But what it does do is allow you to let go of the rope.  It allows you to distance yourself from the offense enough for the natural momentum of life and emotions to finally slow down and eventually be at peace.”

Today’s question: Is forgiveness a beautiful word to you, or an ugly word?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Transactional forgiveness- reboot the relationship”

About the author

Dave Henning

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