As If Nothing Had Happened
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
While reading ‘The Oldie’ magazine the other day I came across this from Gyles Brandreth from his Diary column. He was writing at this point about writers he admired…
Roy Strong, incidentally, is now among my all-time favourite diarists, up there with Pepys and Virginia Woolf. My other current bedside favourite is the great Arnold Bennett (1861-1937), whose woefully underrated The Old Wives' Tale is my favourite novel and whose journals are full of mellow wit and wisdom.
When reading this to Gill, she pointed out that Arnold Bennett’s line, ‘Always behave as if nothing had happened, no matter what has happened.’, could be considered as a definition for forgiveness. Our Lord abundantly pardons, and treats our transgressions as if they never happened.
Bennett did not get it entirely right. He suggests that we ‘behave as if…’, whereas The Lord says ‘remember not’. "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” [Isaiah 43:25] So if God will not remember our sins and transgressions, should we not behave likewise to those who have hurt us? So it is not ‘as if’, but ‘because’. Ah, if only we could react that way so easily. The truth is that the difficulties are often immense, and insuperable to us. Happily, Father God is not daunted so easily.
Our word ‘forgive’, comes from Old English ‘forgiefan’, loosely translated as grant, give or pardon; the ‘for’ part most likely meaning ‘completely’, thus to give completely. In a sense, any grievance, upset or hurt is being completely and utterly given away; but to whom? Well, Psalm 55:22 says ‘Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.’
Meditate On These Things
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
FORGIVENESS — Jason Upton
A HOLY OCCUPATION: Oswald Chambers on PRAYER
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART