The Incredible Power of Forgiveness

At the moment, the monthly men’s discussion group I am part of is reading through Philip Yancey’s book, What’s so Amazing about Grace.

Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey

Last month we month we discussed the chapter “Why Forgive?” In it Yancey quotes author Lewis Smedes, “The first and often the only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiveness… When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

Strangely, we forgive not only for the benefit of the one we forgive, but also, perhaps more importantly, for ourselves.

Last month Desmond Tutu, the, now retired, South African Anglican archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner and social activist released his latest book, The Book of Forgiving. Co-written with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, Tutu draws on his experience as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa to guide people along a process towards forgiveness.

Why? Forgiveness is incredibly powerful.

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Droughts and Flooding Rains

Over the past months we have seen many natural disasters across Australia. It seems this summer we have lived up to Dorothea Mackellar’s description that we are a land of “droughts and flooding rains”. In fact Tasmania has not been immune with even the chaplain of our own Hobart Boy’s Brigade losing his family’s house in the bushfires.

Bushfire!

Even Tasmania has not been immune to
bushfires in 2013

While there are quite a few differing opinions regarding the extent to which humanity’s actions are the causes of recent climate change; that the climate is changing is quite obvious. How fast and in what ways it is changing is still open to debate.

These recent events serve to show that despite our best efforts we cannot control the weather no matter how much we would like to think we can. They remind us that we are at the mercy of weather patterns that are more powerful than we are.

Yet our desire to control the weather reveals, I believe, how we struggle to maintain a biblical view of our responsibility over creation. While we are called to be good stewards of creation we are never called to control it, but rather treat it with appropriate care.

Today the consensus of scientists is that the level of CO2 in the air and global temperatures are increasing, polar caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. The subsequent call for more care of our environment resonates deeply with our God given responsibility. However, I tend to agree with those who suggest . . .  Read more >>>