To forgive others the sins they commit against us is not our first task. First we receive the forgiveness God offers for the sins we commit. Just as “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), so we can only forgive because we have first been forgiven. If we do not know what it means to be forgiven, how can we possibly extend the gift to others? Conversely, once we know from the heart what it is to be forgiven by God, how can we refuse to extend the gift to others? The totally gracious, unaccountably generous love of God is the only foundation in our faith for an exploration of human forgiveness.
—Marjorie J. Thompson, The Way of Forgiveness Participant’s Book (Companions in Christ Series) (Upper Room Books, 2002)
What enables you to receive God’s forgiveness? Join the conversation.
Come now, let us argue it out,
says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
—Isaiah 1:18 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, guide me to know and learn from my emotions: my anger, my fears, my grief, my joys, my love. Show me how to master them so that they will not master me.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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