I read this book found HERE this past summer on family vacation.   I have read several of the books written by this author.  Always short and easy to read, I found this one filled with profound truths.  When I finish a book and have not just one, but several topics to write on, it is a good book!

Of course the main theme is grace and most of the book deals with the need we have to extend grace in our lives.  It addresses how difficult extending grace can sometimes be.  The ladies at The Well and I were recently discussing grace and forgiveness.  The argument came up that there are times when others are not sorry for their sins against us and perhaps do not even deserve forgiveness.  We want to hold on to that hate and bitterness in an effort to punish those who have wronged us.  The truth of the matter is that the only one being punished is the one holding on to the anger.  We wear the mantle of bitterness as a reminder of how wronged we have been and it wraps us tightly in the choking hold of hate.

The main character is staying with a holocaust survivor who tells his story to the man, who is firmly holding on to the bitterness of a great wrong which was done to him.  The death camp survivor told him when he fell in love after the war, the woman would not marry him.  When he asked why, she told him, "Because you are like them (the Nazi's)"  He immediately strongly protested that was not so and her reply, "Their hate for you (Jews) - your hate for them, there is no difference. "   A kick in the stomach for all of us who might hold onto our grievances.  When we refuse to forgive and hold on to our hate, we are not better than the one who injured us.  Stop and think that over and consider if you are holding on to some unresolved anger.

The author gives the only path to being able to let go and truly forgive.  He first had to tell God why he was so angry and confess to his unforgiveness and inability to let it go.  We have to want to let go.  Then when God hears our truth, He will give us the ability to forgive and leave it in the past.  The last step--though it sounds like the hardest step, is not.  We go to the one needing forgiveness and tell them we have forgiven them.  They do not have to accept our forgiveness.  That is not up to us.  We only have to say the words, "I forgive you."  THAT signifies you have REALLY let go of your bitterness. (I really understand how difficult this is and sometimes, because of circumstance, impossible.)

Yes, I have written about this quite a lot.  It is so important-vital in the walk with Christ.  Perhaps one of the most important things we can ever do.  Forgive--extend grace and then enjoy the freedom of those actions.  One of the greatest truths I have finally learned is we cannot erase our memories, but we can leave the pain in the past.  We can live in the freedom of having extended grace to enjoy the full benefit of the grace bestowed upon us.  Live in joy and leave the bitterness behind.

"Do not judge and you will not be judged.

Do not condemn, and your will not be condemned.

Forgive and you will be forgiven."

Luke 6:37


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Grace and forgiveness . . . We don't need to forget, but we can't hold onto bitterness and anger which will eat us alive, Lulu. May we all be willing to forgive, knowing how much we have been forgiven.


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