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735th -- Bound To Forgive


It is important for us to be quick to forgive those who have done something
wrong against us because the Lord has declared that if we do not forgive 
others their trespasses, He would not forgive us of our trespasses. We 
should never allow ourselves to hold a grudge deep in our hearts refusing 
to forgive those who have wronged us. We must be quick to forgive because
harboring unforgiveness in our hearts can be compared to drinking poison 
and hoping the other person dies from that poison. We hurt ourselves more
than anyone else when we refuse to forgive those who have hurt or done 
something wrong against us. (Matthew 6:14-15) (Mark 11:25-26) (Romans 12:18-21)

Concerning how often we should forgive, the Bible declares in Matthew 
18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I 
forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,”
Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Just as we have received grace 
and mercy in times that we have fallen short, we must also extend the same
mercy to those who have sinned against us. Be encouraged to have a 
forgiving heart knowing that you will benefit far more by forgiving than 
you ever can by holding a grudge in your heart. (Colossians 3:12-15)

I hope this message ministers to your heart to be quick to forgive no 
matter the pain or heartache that you suffered. Someone once said, To 
forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.


Writer Norman Cousins said that life is an adventure in forgiveness. I 
think Fr. Lawrence Martin Jenco would agree.

In 1984, Fr. Jenco traveled to Beirut, dedicated to help the poorest of the
poor. On January 8, 1985, he was kidnapped by Shiite Muslim extremists and
held hostage for 564 days. He endured imprisonment, beatings, illness and
heartbreaking periods of sorrow and loneliness. Several years after his 
release, he wrote a book (BOUND TO FORGIVE, Ave Maria Press, 1995) about 
his experiences in captivity and, more importantly, about the power of love
and forgiveness.

Fr. Jenco tells about being taped like a mummy from his ankles to the top
of his head each time he was transported from one place to another. He 
described being forced to breathe only from his nose as his mouth was 
stuffed with a cloth and taped shut.

He tells of times when his captors said they were going to kill him and he
waited for the bullet to go through his head. Other times he was dressed up
and told he was going home, only to have his spirits dashed when he was 
later informed they were teasing.

He remembers being chained hand and foot, donning a plastic bag on his 
head, and left in a two-foot by six-foot closet. And he remembers his 
stench when he was denied washing for over four months.

He was later asked what lesson those of us who haven't been in such a 
position can learn from his experience and apply to our daily living. He 
said, “Just look at the madness that goes on in the world today. We lug our
hates and our bigotry and prejudices from generation to generation and we
pass [them] on...We [must] stop and look at each other and say, 'I am so
sorry for the hurt I caused you. I ask your forgiveness.' And then [we 
must] extend forgiveness and...receive forgiveness. Somewhere along the 
line we are going to have to do that. We're all bound to forgive.”

Fr. Jenco has forgiven and can attest to the power of forgiveness. And 
though our hurt may not be the same as his, it is no less real. We, too, 
are “bound” to forgive. For when we covenant with life to earnestly forgive
whatever hurts come our way, we see amazing results. We find inner peace 
and, often, improved physical health as well. As Dr. O. A. Battista says,
“One of the most lasting pleasures you can experience is the feeling that
comes over you when you genuinely forgive an enemy -- whether he knows it
or not.”

I've come to realize that genuine forgiveness is crucial if any of us will
find peace. Whether or not it restores a broken relationship, it sets our
own hearts free. Those who will be bound by the promise to sincerely 
forgive, will be freed from the bonds of the past. Those are Fr. Jenco's 
words: “We're all bound to forgive.” And those who are bound to forgive are
bound to be happy.

By Steve Goodier


Read and meditate on these scriptures:

Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus says,
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love 
your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, 
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye 
may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His 
sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and
on the unjust.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but
ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”

Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus says,
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their 
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved 
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a 
quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above 
all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let 
the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in 
one body; and be ye thankful.”

All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.

Today's Selected Poem: HOPE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem31.htm

Today's Selected Testimony: TESTIMONY OF GOD'S LOVE
Click here to read --- http://www.godswork.org/testimony150.htm

In Christ’s Service,

Dwayne Savaya
God’s Work Ministry


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