14 day plan

Family Peacemaking

Day 10 of 14

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

18Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Reflection: Forgiveness is a decision, an act of our will.  It’s a myth to think that to forgive, you must feel forgiving.  Forgiveness has very little to do with how you feel.  You can feel hurt, betrayed and angry and still forgive, because biblical forgiveness is a choice you make.

Feeling angry and disappointed is a part of being human – it’s likely to come and go, but we can’t choose to stay there.

Anne Lamott, an American author, wrote very honestly about her anger toward her mother: “I prayed for my heart to soften, but my heart hardened toward her.  I refused to be nice and I couldn’t forgive her for being a terrified, furious, clinging, sucking mass of need and arrogance.”

Later Anne took her first halting steps of forgiveness and said, “I discovered that I had forgiven her for a number of things, although not for any of the big-ticket items like having existed at all and for having lived so long!  Still, the mosaic chips of forgiveness I felt that day were a start…”.

More recently Anne has written about her mother again and says that thankfully, she has reached a place of not needing to hit back and the burden she carried about her mother has lifted.

The reality is that forgiving is a journey, sometimes a long one.  We may need some time before we get to the destination of complete healing, but the remarkable thing that we might not see until we look back is that we are being healed on-route.

Question:  Have you ever had to embark on a healing journey because of being hurt or injured by someone you love?  What helped you take and complete that journey?

Prayer:  Lord, as you have forgiven me, so may I genuinely and completely forgive those who have hurt me.  Heal me in every way, I pray, Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:1-21

Our Future after Death

1For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands. 2Indeed, we groan in this tent, desiring to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.

6So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

11Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in outward appearance rather than in the heart. 13For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.