Friday, November 26, 2010

How Can I Forgive...Vera Sinton

Resentment Is Bad For You.
a proverb says, Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.

Alas that is quite untrue! Words can do untold damage, even at a physical level. When someone deceives you, or curses you, the anger of rear you feel produces profound changes to your heart rate and blood pressure. Your body gears up to fight or run away. In extreme cases, people can suffer heart attacks and strokes as a result of hearing cruel words or watching horrible events.

Pain is an important safety valve. When you cut your leg, the pain you feel warns you of the damage done and reminds you to be more careful. It may send you hurrying to someone you love for consolation. Or to a doctor for stitches.

Feeling anger when you have been hurt by someone is not wrong. (We shall come back to this).) It is a normal reaction and the sign of a healthy personality. If the matter is small and trivial you probably need simply to admit the feeling and quietly bring it under control.

But if it is a more serious hurt you may well need help. The pain should not be ignored. It should be openly admitted to someone else who can comfort and help. It often takes time before emotional pain subsides.

Ideally, talking will be followed by reconciliation with the person who caused the hurt. You say to me, 'You hurt me.' We talk about it until I understand the hurt and show I am sorry about it and want to give you comfort and love.

Usually that will be sufficient to take much of the pain out of the hurt. But suppose you refuse to talk or to admit there is a problem. The anger you felt at the beginning does not go away. Instead it settles down into a long-term resentment. Every time you think about the event you smoulder inside. It worms its way into your personality and relationships. 'I'll never trust anyone again,' you say and hold people at arm's length.

If the resentment is strong enough, the inner stress may take its toll on the body. So initial anger may be health but long-term, unhealed anger is very dangerous indeed. For our own good, we need to learn how to forgive.

Doing the Impossible – Video | The Whisper of God

Doing the Impossible – Video The Whisper of God

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Forgiving Against All Odds.. Vera Sinton

In times of war and political unrest, things happen which leave huge scars of unforgiven wrongs. But such times can also produce shining examples of forgiveness.

Pastor Son in Korea in the 1940's was a gentle, gracious man. He had already suffered imprisonment by the foreigners who controlled his country. then he received news that his two sons at college had been murdered by student activists because they would not join the cause.

As the Pastor took their funeral service, the congregation was astonished to hear him announce that God has given him a love which made him determined to seek out and adopt the killer.
Through a network of friends, a frightened young man was rescued from a firing squad and brought face to face with his victims' family.
'We've lost two sons,' said Pastor Son. 'Come and be our son instead.'

In 1987, millions of viewers watched television interviewers with Gordon Wilson. He and his daughter were buried in rubble by a bomb blast at a public parade in Northern Ireland. He was holding her hand as she died. But he refused to nurse ill-will against the bombers.

I shall pray for them tonight and every night. God forgive them, for they don't know what they do.'

A Dutch women, Corrie ten Boom, at the age of fifty was suddenly plunged into the excitement of helping Jews escape the Nazis. As a result, she and her sister Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where Betsie died. After the war, Corrie worked tirelessly helping people to forgive.

Then came the day when one of those sadistic guards stepped up to her with a beaming face. He had found God's forgiveness and wanted to shake her hand. All the horrors of the camp and her sister's suffering passed before Corrie's eyes. Her arm seemed to be stuck to her side.
Silently she prayed, 'Jesus, I cannot forgive him.
give me your forgiveness.' 'As I took his hand,' she writes 'the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while in my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.'

'Oh, but,' you may be saying, 'those are very special people. I couldn't be like that. I'm not even sure I want to be.'
Of course, you can choose not to forgive. but before you do, it is worth looking at the consequences.

How Can I Forgive... from Vera Sinton

Once in a while there is a hurt which stops you in your tracks. You feel shocked, outraged. You may be blazing with anger or just feel cold and numb. The last thing you feel like doing is turning towards the one who hurt you. Perhaps you feel its impossible to forget the hurt or stop feeling the anger. Perhaps it even seems that it would be wrong to forgive: what has been done offends all justice.

A small boy is playing with a stick in an open space just beyond his village. There are still some bones and skulls to be seen in the grass, remains of the last massacre when troops swept in and shot all the people they suspected of helping the guerrillas. In the boy's mind, the stick is a machine gun. He is practising shooting his father's murderers. He is the man of the family now. When he grows up he has to take revenge.

Fifty years on from the second world war some of the inmates of prisoner-of-war camps in the Asian jungles are still campaigning for compensation. They speak of the lasting physical effects of the tortures they went through. 'The world may forget', one man says, 'but I could never forgive'.

Maybe the unforgivable hurt is to someone you love. Shirley bottled up the hurt done to her husband by a colleague at work. 'I have no problem forgiving for myself,' she said, 'but I feel I have no right to forgive that'

Forgiveness for the little everyday injuries is something we give and receive all the time.
I tread on your toe and you say, 'That's all right.'
Someone makes a mistake that delays the whole team at work but we smile and carry on.

A comment from a friend suddenly hurts me. She sees my frown or the way my shoulders sag and quickly shows she is sorry and cheers me up. We forgive and are forgiven, hardly noticing it happens.

But what happens when it comes to the big hurts for which there will be no easy cure? How can we forgive?
Some people have found the answer to that question.