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Forgive your wounds

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

In society’s problems

closed wounds

may become infected, like injuries to our human bodies.

Like an injury can fester and become a lot worse than it originally began, so can problems or unpleasant feelings multiply inside us if they are not properly dealt with.

The late 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”.[1]

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. 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.

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 it is hard. It is tough to be a follower of the Lord Jesus. But when we:

  1. Bring sin into the open

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

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

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

then God will bring about His will. This does not mean the crime against you doesn’t matter. It does not mean that the offender is excused. It means we choose to let God deal with those who have done these awful things.

Beware all infection.

[1] Why? Sharon Dirckx (Inter-Varsity Press: Nottingham) 2013, p. 81.

September 2013.


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