“Why Forgive?” by Daphne Clement

From our Pastor, Daphne Clement
True forgiveness opens the heart making us tender and available to God. Without practicing forgiveness, we loose the capacity to give and to receive. If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.

Everyone has plenty to forgive: even if our parents were the best of parents there is alwayssomething to forgive, our mates and children, our friends, our boss or supervisor… we must forgive life, the world and God… and last but not least… the greatest challenge of all… let us forgive ourselves.

What keeps us from forgiving? Forgiving life & God for the disappointments, the losses and hardships… sometimes the soul just gets weary, turning bitter and cold. This can be a dangerous time for without a tender heart we are so prone to judge… the act of judging others or ourselves binds the judged person… self or other… fast, to a chair… tying and gagging them there, limiting potential growth and change. When we judge another or ourselves we take our humanness away… judgment is the opposite of freedom; judgment limits who we are or will be.

Have you ever noticed that the heart tends to close and harden in judgment when we perceive a weakness in someone that subtly reflects fears of our own weaknesses? Regarding this sort of projection someone wise once said: “It’s all done with mirrors, you know.” Perhaps this accounts for Jesus’ comment: “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” There they couldn’t forgive his humanness… and hence could not see his divinity. Because we cannot forgive we become blind to the truth that we are created in God’s image.

We distance ourselves from God every time the harsh inner critic intones: “I am not good
enough.” In Matthew, 18:18, Jesus instructs his disciples: “Verily I say unto you, what things so ever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (King James) The New Standard Easy-to-Read Version: “I tell you the truth. When you speak judgment here on earth, that judgment will be God’s judgment. When you promise forgiveness here on earth, that forgiveness will be God’s forgiveness.”

We forgive because forgiveness makes us resilient and makes us available to God’s presence.