I am re-reading a book by Johann Christoph Arnold titled, “Why Forgive?” I’m doing so after Bob Stone presented four sessions to HBC about our hurt and the way the Gospel overcomes them. Below are some of the thoughts from Mr. Arnold’s book… (Free e-book download HERE).
Forgiving does not mean forgetting or condoning wrong… It does mean a conscious decision to stop hating, because hating can never help. (Pages 4-5)
Whether or not people are judged on this earth or by a court of law means little… the last word rests with God (Page 9).
(Regarding forgiveness) Everything seems hard until you learn it. Then it is easy. The cruelest prison of all is an unforgiving mind and spirit (Page 14).
The strongest motivation for forgiving is always the (truth) that I myself have been forgiven (Page 17).
If there is to be peace, there has to be forgiveness (Page 27).
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. (Page 28)
Whoever is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power of love. (Page 29)
The forgiving act must always be initiated by the person who has been wronged, the victim of some great hurt, the recipient of some tortuous injustice, the absorber of some terrible act of oppression. The wrongdoer may request forgiveness… but only the injured neighbor, the loving father back home, can really pour out the warm waters of forgiveness. (Pages 29-30)
There are gems of wisdom throughout the book (Thus I just gave a few from the first 30 pages). My guess is that some reading this need to forgive someone. After all… one of the hallmarks of Christianity is forgiveness… of others… of our enemies… of those who have wronged us. In closing, consider what is written in Ephesians 4:32…
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.