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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

I get it. Forgiveness is a central theme of the Bible. The apostle Paul wrote about it, it is what God desires for us and it is what Jesus died for. And it's really amazing to watch what it can do to some one's heart when they experience it. I saw it again this week.

Lisa was carrying a burden. I won't go into great detail for privacy sake but Lisa had been falsely accused by someone in our community several years back. It was a hurtful accusation particularly because it questioned Lisa's integrity. Shortly after we got married, she had asked my wisdom about how to handle it. Should she confront the person and try to re-establish her standing or let it go? After prayer and discussion, we agreed to claim the promise of Exodus 14:14:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to stand still.

This past week, that misunderstanding was cleared up. Out of the blue, this woman emailed Lisa to say that she had been wrong, that she had not understood the depth of Lisa's character nor had she known about Lisa's deep faith in God. Here's the really cool thing. The woman discovered these things after God had led her to Lisa's blog (www.lisadbarron.blogspot.com). After reading a few entries, she was led to issue her apology and ask for forgiveness which Lisa readily granted.

I watched and listened as this event unfolded. I saw the tears of my wife as she realized how well God had "gone to bat" for her--not only upholding her character but strengthening the relationship with this woman who had previously been only an acquaintance. As Lisa shared the story, I could hear the relief of forgiveness in the "voice" of the woman who had wrongly accused her.

There is no doubt that forgiveness--both the giving and receiving--have amazing healing powers. Maybe there is someone you need to contact today. They may not even know that you hold anything against them. But the power of forgiveness knows no time limit and what you receive will be far greater than what you give.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

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