Authentic forgiveness—deep-hearted, full-spirited forgiveness—cannot be forced. Inauthentic forgiveness—words spoken out of obligation or coercion without the heart’s concurrence—is a lie. This lie may deceive both the forgiver and the forgiven, but it does not deceive God. Neither does it incarnate the divine intent of forgiveness: to remove the barriers to a holy and right relationship, where the Spirit can move freely, gladly, and creatively.
—Jean M. Blomquist, in Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past (Fresh Air Books, 2008)
Have you ever felt obligated or coerced to forgive? What does authentic forgiveness feel like for you? Join the conversation.
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
—Matthew 5:23-24 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
(This week’s prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13, NIV.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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