Friday, February 3, 2012

Forgiveness by Harold Vaughan and T.P. Johnston

Here's a great book on a timely subject. It can't quite live up to its subtitle "How To Get Along With Everybody All The Time!", but then again, no book could. It does, however, thoroughly and convincingly cover  Biblical teaching on the subject. Forgiveness, or the lack thereof, is one of the biggest problems today in my observation. Perhaps because its so easy to not forgive, so common, and such a habit. It is a "respectable" sin in that someone even in the best Christian circles would take much more flack for allowing a cuss word to slip, or be caught smoking, and so on, than being filled to the brim with unforgiveness. Yet if we viewed the matter in terms of what the Lord spoke the most about needing our greatest emphasis, unforgiveness would vault to the top of the list of sins we'd better take care of today.

The subject matter divides into 3 sections: a) granting forgiveness, b) seeking forgiveness, and c) enjoying forgiveness. The book begins tackling the question "Why should I forgive?" and its arguments are unanswerable.   
The key argument is that being at odds with others puts me at odds with Jesus Christ. If you consider yourself a dedicated Christian, or at least desire to be one, that is catastrophic! Then there's a thorough explanation of what forgiveness actually is. It quickly dispenses with the bizarre idea that someone must ask me for my forgiveness before I can grant it. Jesus declaring from the agonies of His cross, "Father forgive them...", forever settles that question. 

Think of this statement: "Unforgiveness is a two-way street. If you decide to put someone in debtor's prison, God will do the same to you!" If more people could see this truth, it would finally explain for them why their lives are so joyless despite possessing Christ's forgiveness. What we think is trials and problems weighing our lives down may need an entirely different diagnosis. Chapter 4 expertly takes us through the process of what unforgiveness does in our lives. It is a journey through bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and finally, malice. I wonder if this destination makes us a much more grotesque sight than the one who originally did us wrong.

The whole book gives wise counsel and is thoroughly based on Scripture. You can look at these and other materials at christlifemin.org where other books and downloadable sermons are available. I highly recommend this book, especially if you know in your heart you need it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow honey. This is a wonderful review, much needed today, and so very, very true. May God help us all to forgive!!

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