Forgiveness…

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During my time consulting with people in management I rarely came across a management book that mentioned forgiveness.

However, I did stumble across Paul Hanna’s book, You Can Do It! More than likely I was browsing in bookstore at the time. Paul left Qantas Airways in 1988 to start his own management consultancy and by the late 90’s was regarded as one of Australia’s leading motivational speakers.

In chapter nine, Forgive – and Heal Your Life, Paul covered the following topics, The person with the higher self-esteem apologises first, When you apologise, you discard your anger and make room for happiness, Regrouping after divorce, Dis-ease and unease toward others, Forgiveness and how it heals us all, Forgiving your parents for being human and When you blame someone, you give them power over you. Quite a list to cover in one chapter however, Paul does it well prompting the reader to consider the act of forgiveness more deeply.

Dale Carnegie in his all-time classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, also espouses the principle, “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.”

A quick reading of the New Testament scriptures soon uncovers the central theme of forgiveness and reconciliation. The love, mercy, grace and forgiveness of God are at the heart of the Christian message.

A well-known line in the Lord’s Prayer, the pattern for prayer given by Jesus, states, “And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” Further words of Jesus are recorded by St Matthew following the Lord’s Prayer, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus makes it clear that God’s forgiveness is conditional upon our forgiving others. Where there is unforgiveness the forgiveness and freedom that comes from our heavenly Father passes us by. Hardheartedness toward others is symptomatic of hardheartedness toward God.

The act of forgiveness does not come easily or without cost however it is a requirement of Christian discipleship. The initiative in regard to forgiveness in our homes, our churches, our community, our sporting groups and our work places , whether we have been wronged or are the wrongdoers, rests with us who have experienced the grace of God.

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