The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/23/2017

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Forgiveness Is A Big Deal


"To err is human, to forgive is divine."

From "An Essay On Criticism" by Alexander Pope 1711

Forgiveness demands a bigness of heart that is akin to divinity, hence my Alexander Pope quote this morning... God and Christ forgive because they are big in heart. In the Old Testament, Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery because he was a big man. (Gen.50:15-21). There is a headstone in a cemetery not far from NYC that is engraved with a single word: FORGIVEN. The message is simple and unembellished. There is no date, no epitaph. There is only a name and the solitary word FORGIVEN. I would contend that this is the greatest word that can be applied to any man or woman, or written on any gravestone... Forgiveness is too big for little people! Even today, congregations have folks in them who are "at odds" with one another. Until we can replace grudges, malice and ill-will with forgiveness, we cannot be the churches we were intended to be. As surly as people live, they will sin so they will stand in need of forgiveness. Forgiveness and forbearance go hand in hand. In case you forgot, forbearance means patience, self-control, endurance or fortitude. "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another" (Col.3:13) Why? Because the rest of the verse says this; "Forgive as the Lord forgave you..." As we conclude this short series on forgiveness, lets think about this... Forgiveness is an act of mercy and not justice, so I guess that forgiveness and mercy go hand in hand too... The forgiving and merciful spirit cuts through all lines... Temper, gender, nationality, ethnic group, education or training should never serve as barriers to a person with a forgiving spirit. Forgiveness attempts to view offenders as generously as possible. 17th century theologian Richard Baxter said this in his old age; "I see that good people are not so good as I once thought they were, and find that few people are as bad as their enemies imagine."

Have a great day.... Let His light shine through you... Love mark Phil.4:11

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