Olive Branch

(Art by G. Hisayasu)

Some of my career was spent as a trainer and facilitator of 'Conflict Resolution.'   Conflict is part of our world and none of us escape it.  The Olive Branch:  notations amd stories where the Holy Spirit did a work inside me and I was ablt to celebrate my difference with others . 

FORGIVENESS: A Changed Heart

 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22
 What is forgiveness? It's a decision that we make, a conscious choice involving the will. Are our actions by our choice or forced upon us . . . God wants us to be sincere. I have so many thoughts about forgiving, but clearly, forgiveness is a choice, a decision out of our obedience to God and His command to forgive.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Colossians 3:13

Often we have a strong sense of justice and we don't feel like forgiving. In order to translate the decision to forgive into a changed heart, first, we must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done. We must surrender to God's command whether we 'feel' like it or not. In surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit, we posture ourselves 'open' and 'sincere' as we seek refinement. We must continue to forgive by faith, until the work of forgiveness is done in our hearts. Our faith, prayers and reverence to God are necessary to bring about authentic change.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

We know the work of forgiveness is complete when freedom comes as a result. Our heart is set free from the past. The anger subsides, bitterness and resentment no longer permeate our thoughts and most of all, there's healing from the pain. We feel honest and sincere as we move in the relationship. Although the memories of the past are never erased, they become manageable and somewhat diminished in their effect. Forgiveness take time and is often a slow process . . . but the peace that God gives is such a blessing!
Yes, God does a work in us! To God be the glory!