Monday, July 11, 2016
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 KJV).
What is true forgiveness?
One documentary featured a Jewish lady who survived the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp of the early 1940s. All these decades later, she claims to have forgiven the Nazi doctor, Mengele, who directed the medical experiments performed on her, her late twin sister, and other Jewish twins. Many Jews, including other survivors, were upset with her. They could not understand how she could forgive such atrocities. As expected, some reacted by expressing great disapproval of her.
At one point, she discussed her “forgiveness of Nazis” at a center for Jewish studies. She received a barrage of angry complaints from Jewish “scholars.” One man exclaimed, “We do not owe anyone forgiveness!” (Evidently, he had not studied what Moses wrote in the Jewish Torah in Leviticus 19:18?) Another person argued we should not forgive those who have wronged us until they have changed their ways. Yet another said we cannot simply “forget the past.”
When asked to defend herself, the dear Jewish lady could only describe her “forgiveness” as a way for “inside healing.” Her motivation, although heartfelt, would not last. It was all just idle speculation; not one person in the documentary, including her, had any idea of true forgiveness. They guessed and discussed, but it was just vain imaginations. Most were bitter, angry people who refused to let go of the past. They envied her for getting on with her life.
Friends, it is no mystery that our world, full of crimes and injustices, abounds with hurt and hurting people. Whether the Holocaust, a World War, an unfair family matter (child custody battle, divorce, abuse, et cetera), or the like, forgiveness is the only answer to move forward in life. Unfortunately, the average person—even common church member—has no clue whatsoever about forgiveness. They simply do not know. Many misconceptions about forgiveness only further confuse. Consequently, we now present a series of devotionals that will survey what the Bible says about forgiveness.
We just have to look at today’s Scripture and see what true forgiveness entails!