This is powerful stuff. Thanks Teri Copilevitz Hipp for sharing it.
"In a world without forgiveness, evil begets evil, harm generates harm, and there is no way short of exhaustion or forgetfulness for breaking the sequence. Forgiveness breaks the chain... it represents a decision not to do what instinct and passion urge us to do. It answers hate with a refusal to hate, animosity with generosity. Few more daring ideas have ever entered the human situation." -Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
There is wisdom and a challenge in his words. It is so much easier to act on instinct when passions run high. Choosing to act outside what we feel like doing can be a powerful part of the human experience. Choosing an emotion that isn't hate or animosity can be daring and freeing. Not easy... but chain breaking.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I remember hearing this phrase in those awkward early teen years. When someone belittles us or tries to make us feel worthless, we need to remember who we are in the eyes of a loving God. Imperfect? Yes. Still, worthy of love, redemption, grace and the privileges of being called the Children of God? Yes.
"Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God." -Romans 9:26
Forgiveness frees us. It doesn't let the other person off the hook. Their sin is between them and God. It frees us from the burden of carrying around the weight of hate and anger.
It is the Jewish New Year... Rosh Hashana... it is a season to break the chains of unforgiveness and begin anew. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is ten days away.
Today, I am grateful forgiveness is a chain breaker.