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Center Reflections

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

~by Judi Fasick

This has undoubtedly been the most stressful year in recent history with the worldwide spread of the Corona Virus, and so many natural disasters, from out of control forest fires, to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Here in the US our Nation has suffered from widespread discontent, prejudice, free flying accusations of misconduct of our leaders, public demonstrations, and sadly, riots. All when we should be pulling together and doing our best to help each other through this pandemic.

We need to learn to forgive. In the Lord’s Prayer, which we pray regularly, we say, “And forgive us our debts (sins/transgressions) as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Have we?

Being angry or holding a grudge hurts both parties, but it usually hurts the angry person more. So what good is it to be angry, to nurture bad feelings to the point that they overshadow all else?

Matthew 18:21-22 reads, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.’” Forgive someone seventy-seven times?! The point is that we are called to forgive EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. Sometimes that seems impossible! But that is where we turn to God and ask for His help. We need healing for our relationships, and we need healing in our hearts.

Jesus gave forgiveness when someone asked for it and even when they didn’t ask. He knows that forgiveness is healing. How many times did He tell someone who was ailing that their sins were forgiven, and they also received physical healing?

Peter denied Christ three times and he suffered greatly because of it. He needed forgiveness. One early morning Jesus met him on the beach with breakfast and fellowship. He gave Peter three opportunities to atone for his denials giving Peter the gift of forgiveness that he so desperately needed.

I pray constantly for healing for our Nation and I truly believe that healing has to start with forgiveness.

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