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23. Society's problems can become dangerous when left as closed wounds

My life (put) alongside God's word. Protecting peace section.

Like an injury can fester and become a lot worse than it originally began, so can problems or unpleasant feelings between members of society. If they are not properly dealt with quickly and well, they will multiply inside us. Outside everything may appear fine, but inside life is ebbing away through bleeding or infection.

Open the truth for cleansing

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of the Truth and

Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, said: “I hope

that the work of the Commission, by opening wounds to

cleanse them, will thereby stop them festering . . . True

reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness, which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on acknowledgement of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know”.

Every one of us must play our part in making sure that the wrongs of the past in Sudan and South Sudan do not become an unbearable burden on our future or our children’s future. For Christians this is especially true because God’s word says: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”, Colossians 3:13. When we say, “we cannot forgive someone”, we limit what God can do! He never tells us to do something without giving us the power to do it.

Your Christian discipleship depends upon this

Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”, Matthew 6:14-15.

If Tutu was right then we need to admit, to own up, to our own sins before God and before other people. Our sin may be refusing to forgive those who have wronged us. Yes, I know it is hard. It is tough to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. But as we:

  1. Bring our own sin into the open, with God’s help

  2. Repent – being very sorry for that wrong doing, or wrong thinking

  3. Pay the huge internal cost of forgiveness, with God’s help

  4. Resolve to leave the past behind, with God’s help

  5. Make restitution where needed and possible, with God’s help

We can trust God to bring about His will

This does not mean any crimes against you do not matter. It does not mean that the offender is excused. It means we Christians choose to let God deal with those who have done these awful things to us. At least we have done what we can to put things right.

Beware all infection. A little soon grows into a lot. Treat it now!


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