A few years ago, at a time when I needed it, the Lord taught me how to forgive.  Someone had upset me, and continued to do it deliberately every time they met me.  I was angry, and I came to realize that a few months after all this happened I was still angry.  As a preacher, as a minister of the Gospel, I knew I needed to do something about this.  The Lord was merciful.  He taught me how to forgive in a way that works, asking God to bless the person who has upset us.  This is not the way of the world.  The world says we should get our own back.  Jesus says we should forgive.  In Luke chapter 6 He told us to love our enemies, to pray for those who ill-treat us and to bless those who curse us,………to bless those who curse us.  In Romans chapter 12 St. Paul goes even further.  He recommends that we bless those who persecute us, bless and do not curse.

So based on this teaching, as soon as someone upsets me, I start to ask God to bless them, and I keep on asking Him to bless them until the power of resentment is either broken or never has a chance to develop.  If the hurt is deep we may need to do this every day for a period, and every time we think of the person.  If we are prepared to work at this it will work for us:  the power of resentment will be broken and we will be on the path to peace again.  In addition to that, because the power of God is released into a situation when we forgive, we may find that the next time we meet the person who has hurt us they are much nicer to us than they have been for a very long time. 

Forgiveness also helps to keep the channels clear between ourselves and God, and then the power of God can really flow.

I believe that forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us.  Indeed, one of the visions I have for this country is that we start to practice it in a new way, Protestants asking God to bless Catholics and Catholics asking God to bless Protestants.

If enough people were to do this, tension would be eased in our land, those of us who practice it would feel better within ourselves; and I feel that the ground would be prepared and barriers removed for revival to take place in this country.

 

Brother David Jardine

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