On Monday we posted some feedback from the Peacemakers Seminar held in January meant to encourage our congregation to continue towards peacemaking in their lives. We've had so much that we've had to write it up in two installations! Here is part 2. If you missed part 1, you can see it here.
"One of the most beautiful things from the seminar was the idea that forgiveness is applying, through faith, the forgiveness that has already been purchased by Jesus blood. We are not creating new forgiveness. We are simply acknowledging the forgiveness that is already there, that we are already breathing in. On the other hand, withholding forgiveness is denying someone the benefits of the blood of Christ. This is a scary and sobering truth, that I might dare try to hold back God's mercy from another brother or sister whom Jesus was tortured and died for.
The hardest thing to grapple with from the seminar is the idea that victims are not innocent and must repent too. When I feel like I’ve been hurt or not cared for I think of myself as the innocent injured party. The reality is that most of the time my reaction to the transgression illustrates that there is no where I go, nothing that I say, and no emotion that I have where my flesh is not at work in me, and therefore, even when I have been legitimately injured, I must first examine my heart and ask the Lord to reveal to me the places where I was trusting the other person or hoping in the other person more than Jesus. "
"I keep coming back to the idea of Matthew 7 and seeing the "log" in my eye as the filter by which I contribute to conflict. I had never before realized how much my sinful lens contributes to every aspect of the conflict I too often create. I think [the seminar] was somewhat of a breakthrough for my understanding of this sinful tendency."