As I mentioned in Sunday's sermon, I have used many helpful resources on forgiveness over the years. Here's some for you to check out:
- "Serving Each Other Through Forgiveness and Reconciliation," by Tim Keller. I think this is one of the best articles I have ever read on forgiveness and peace making. You can download the free article at Gospelinlife.com.
- Peacepursuit.org offers a treasure trove of resources! I highly recommend the Quick Start Guide, as well as the book Peace Pursuit. The materials from Peace Pursuit are by far the most practical step by step guides to making peace with someone. John, who created these materials, is a dear friend of ECC. Make use of this blessing.
- Freedom from Resentment: Stopping Hurts from Turning Bitter, by Robert Jones. This is a mini booklet that outlines some helpful ways to think through avoiding resentment.
- Pursuing Peace: A Christian Guide to Handling Our Conflicts, by Robert Jones. This is a longer form analysis of conflict than the previous resource. I find this book very helpful for slowing me down and thinking through a conflict biblically.
- The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande. This classic text has been around a long time, but it is still a fruitful resource for cultivating forgiveness.
- "On Forgiveness," an essay in The Weight of Glory, by C. S. Lewis. As he so often does, Lewis nails the issues of forgiveness in this short essay. This is worth re-reading every month! Here is the quote that I read during the sermon:
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.
Forgiveness is hard. We all struggle with it. So, don't be ashamed of a relational struggle you might have. Instead, seek out help and trust that God wants to make peace, at least as so far as it depends on you (Rom 12:18).