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to God with our failings and brokenness, along

comes to our lives through this experience. God

with our knowing and unknowing transgressions,

“cleanses us” from the soul-staining power of sin

and recognize that we are readily forgiven

in our lives. Is this a one-time experience? Not

through the atoning work of Jesus. Beyond this

at all. Daily we “come boldly to the throne of our

comes an assurance of the transformation that

gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT). There is a vertical (God and us) as well as a horizontal (God and others) dimension to the healing grace of forgiveness. The dramatic story of Erik Fitzgerald and Matt Swatzell provides a powerful example of the transformative nature of forgiveness in the human experience. Although most of us will never face a gut-wrenching test such as this, we certainly have opportunities to regularly live out the gift of forgiveness. Those

Portrait of Forgiveness He never imagined that his final hours as a condemned man would end in hope. Hanging there on a cross next to a man they called the Messiah, he witnessed peace instead of anguish from the one who wore the crown of thorns. The Messiah’s sense of purpose seemed unnatural—what the crowd said about Him had to be true. So the thief grasped at that hope. Asking to be remembered by this Messiah was his last request. Forgiveness came just in time. (Luke 23:39-43)

we love and those who love us are only human, after all. Every marriage calls for a steady dosing of forgiveness and understanding. Parents and children both benefit from the simple act of saying, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” How many feuds in families, workplaces, and churches could have been avoided by uttering those simple words? There are some acts in life that are so heinous, unjust, damaging, and even criminal that the mere contemplation of bestowing forgiveness appears insulting and mocks the pain. Perhaps the act of forgiveness calls for something that is utterly impossible to contemplate. Possibly the

“How we treat one another—particularly those with whom we disagree—is

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marked by our capacity for forgiveness.”

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...

Pacific Union Recorder—July 2019  

A Hymn to God the Father Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, Which was my sin, though it were done before? Wilt thou forgive that sin...