Aloha Friday Message – August 22, 2008

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All this week I have been thinking about forgiveness. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I want to share with you what I found. Perhaps it may be of use to you or someone you love.

I think most of us have read the story about the black wolf and the white wolf inside of us, fighting for control. The story ends with the promise that the wolf we feed is the one that wins. In everything in our lives we face the same kind of dichotomy – the conflict between good and evil, between carnal and spiritual, between conscience and consciousness of the effect of our choices.

Many of us know – either directly or indirectly – of someone who has carried anger or hurt and nurtured it until it became huge and vicious, a snapping, snarling, terrifying beast, a black wolf that endangers the person and everyone who comes near. It has been said that hurt and anger when caged and constantly provoked become bitterness and a blind grudge takes its place in our hearts and minds. Grudges are heavy, difficult to carry because they have no handles, and dangerous because they can suddenly grow teeth and claws and tear us to shreds. They are the most fearsome and deadly form of self-awareness and the cause of much suffering. Forgiveness is the anti-grudge, the “grudge-icide” if you will, and it is something that all of us have within us because all of us need it. It is part of the Image of God which resides in our souls.

As sweet as forgiveness is to receive, it is even sweeter to give. Why? Because when we forgive, when we give the gift of forgiveness, we are acting as God intended us to act and being who God intended us to be. To forgive another is a divinely-inspired act. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” To forgive ourselves is also an exercise in holiness; by making ourselves whole again – in union with our Creator and therefore in our rightful place in Creation – we become wholly holy. We live in a state of Grace – until the next time we need to forgive or be forgiven.

Forgiveness is the way we come to understand the greatness within us because in forgiveness we see the smallness of our hearts and minds. It is something we all need and ironically something we all have. The only way to know it is to use it. The best way to use it is to share it. The best way to share it is to live it. The best way to live it is to give it when needed and accept it when given. So, here are some references for you to consider

Psalm 32:1 Happy the sinner whose fault is removed, whose sin is forgiven.

The Need of Forgiveness (Rom. 3:22-23) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;
23 all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus;

The Cause of Forgiveness (Acts 13:38-39) 38 You must know, my brothers, that through him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, (and) in regard to everything from which you could not be justified under the law of Moses, 39 in him every believer is justified.

The Fullness of Forgiveness (Col. 2:12-14) 12 You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; 14 obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross;

The Blessedness of Forgiveness (Rom. 4:6-8) 6 So also David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.”

Peace and Joy are the Result (John 16:24) 24 Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

Col 3:12-15 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

Be forgiving and become forgiven. Ask and offer. Always seek, and expect to receive, the greater gift: The gift of giving.

Have a blessed day, Beloved. Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever — at your service.

Chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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