Choosing to Be Forgiven

Posted on 2008-10-11. Filed under: Thoughts |

Here’s what I’m meditating on today. It is yet another quote from Henri Nouwen:

One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life is to receive God’s forgiveness. There is something in us humans that keeps us clinging to our sins and prevents us from letting God erase our past and offer us a completely new beginning. Sometimes it even seems as though I want to prove to God that my darkness is too great to overcome. While God wants to restore me to the full dignity of sonship, I keep insisting that I will settle for being a hired servant. But do I truly want to be restored to the full responsibility of the son? Do I truly want to be so totally forgiven that a completely new way of living becomes possible? Do I trust myself and such a radical reclamation? Do I want to break away from my deep-rooted rebellion against God and surrender myself so absolutely to God’s love that a new person can emerge? Receiving God’s forgiveness requires a total willingness to let God be God and do all the healing, restoring, and renewing. As long as I want to do even a part of that myself, I end up with partial solutions, such as becoming a hired servant. As a hired servant, I can still keep my distance, still revolt, reject, strike, run away, or complain about my pay. As the beloved son, I have to claim my full dignity and begin preparing myself to become the father.

I’m feeling the need to slow down and ponder this kind of question.

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One Response to “Choosing to Be Forgiven”

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So much of life is realizing the power of choice. In the OT God made it clear to the Israelites, “I set before you life and death. Choose life.” I think most of the time we don’t even acknowledge that the choices exist.
I don’t have to live wounded, and angry and bitter but making the choice to not live that way means I choose (purposefully, actively) to be healed, to have the joy of the LORD and to forgive as well as take the responsibility required of those choices.
Thanks for sharing. Still waiting to borrow one of the books by Nouwen 😉

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