A lesson on forgiveness

3 Apr

Last weekend, Cyrus and I attended a marriage conference in south Florida at Christ Fellowship Church.  It was a great way to spend one of our final weekends together before we say ‘I do.’  Dr. Bob Barnes and his wife Rosemary led the sessions on Friday and Saturday. What a dynamic couple! They have written several marriage and family books and help run a non-profit children and families ministry called Sheridan House.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, some church events can just be a bit, well, “churchy.”  However, this couple really made the presentation refreshing. I never expected to hear such candid comments and advice on topics like communication, sex and marriage with a biblical perspective. Bob and Rosemary were not only inspirational with their own faith-based stories and teaching points, they were funny.

Maybe this should have been a book title:

While we go into big life changes like marriage and family with positive outlooks, we can’t overlook life’s challenges and a gameplan for getting through them. One of the best parts of the conference was a break-out session on forgiveness. We talked about the topic in small groups before going back into the general session to hear more from Bob and Rosemary. Through life experiences, I know the complexities of forgiveness, but these sessions highlighted it even more. Bob talked about Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom’s story of ultimate forgiveness. She lived to forgive one of the men who had tortured people at the concentration camp she was held in. When he asked her for her forgiveness, she wrote that her Christian faith would not let her NOT forgive him. 

Corrie ten Boom

You can read a portion of ten Boom’s story here. 

I don’t think many of us realize that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting on the other person to get sick. I believe negativity that’s allowed to marinate in the soul really can make you sick. Ask yourself today if you’ve got some negative cobwebs hanging around on the inside and how you might benefit by dusting them away and letting go of unforgiveness. I found it interesting that Bob pointed out you can forgive in your heart any time, regardless of the other person.  ten Boom was able to share that moment of forgiveness with one of her captors, but he said that is not always the case. A person could be dead and gone, but if you still haven’t forgiven them, it could cost you in more ways than one.  That’s something to think about.

See you in the morning!



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