Prayer, spiritual development, personal growth, faith, exploration, wholeness,

Halfway

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him (Luke 15:20; NIV).

O my God, I am utterly ashamed (Ezra 9:6; NLT).

With you there is forgiveness (Psalm 130:4; NIV).

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

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You don’t meet us halfway, Lord, 
Almighty though you are –

Instead, you run to greet us
Exactly where we are.

And then you hug and kiss us,  
Though we shrink away in shame,

But you are all forgiveness,
And we’re welcomed home again.

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Prayer, spiritual development, personal growth, faith, exploration, wholeness,

Our souls’ release

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10; NRSV).

Only he will release my feet from the snare (Psalm 25:15; NIV).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

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Fill us, Lord,
With your forgiveness;

Fill us
With your healing light.

Fill us 
With your cleansing fire; 

Fill us 
With your lasting peace.

Fill us 
With your ceaseless love, Lord;

Fill us
With your precious truth.

Fill us
With abundant life, Lord,

So we gain
Our souls’ release.

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No point

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; NLT).

We can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus (1 John 4:17; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

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Lord,

There’s no point
In our asking
Your forgiveness,

Unless we try to grow
More like your Son.

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No limit

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-2; NLT).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

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Lord,

How many times
Should I forgive
All those who hurt me?

Not seven times,
Nor seventy-seven times;
Not even seventy times seven!

For there’s no limit
To forgiveness,
Or to love.

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The process of learning to forgive

 

The process
Of learning to forgive
Those who have damaged us
Most deeply

Is a lifelong masterclass,
With you, Lord, as our guide,
Helping us to grow
Much more like you.

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Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34; KJV).

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NIV).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20; NLT).

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When someone hurts me

When someone hurts me, I tell them how I feel. If they apologise, I forgive them immediately and genuinely, without hesitation. Then we put what happened behind us, and our relationship is undamaged.

However, when someone hurts me, but doesn’t apologise, we inevitably have unfinished business. The relationship becomes awkward. I’m tempted to avoid the person, and may even do so. I wait for months, sometimes even years, still hoping they will think about what they did, and that in the end they will care enough to approach me. Meanwhile, I pray for them each day, whilst trying to forgive and love them.

Eventually, I realise they are not going to apologise, and give up hoping, which is a big step forward. I face the fact that forgiving them is entirely my responsibility, because the other person involved isn’t going to help in any way. They may have forgotten what happened, or simply not care. However, I still need to forgive them, and to work out how to love them and relate to to them, despite what they did. This is a big challenge.

From this point onwards, I continue praying for the person and trying to forgive and love them, whilst also attempting to develop a new relationship with them, if possible. On my side, at least, this new relationship will, of necessity, recognise, include and accept all that has passed between us, both good and bad.

In my experience, learning to forgive those who hurt us, but won’t apologise, is one of the most challenging spiritual tasks we face throughout our lives. However, such forgiveness is a vital healing process, if we are serious about spreading God’s kingdom on earth.

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If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them, and if they repent, forgive them (Luke 17:3; NIV).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12.9; NLT).

The Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; KJV).

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The struggle to forgive

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

With the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38; NIV).

If you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you (James 2:13; NLT).

Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13; NLT).

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Lord,

The struggle to forgive
Those who have hurt us

Can be the longest, hardest battle
Of our lives.

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