A dear friend and brother in Christ, Terry Hunt from Texas shared this with me. I was so moved, that I decided to share it with you.
It is a truism that we cannot heal and become whole until we have embraced our enemy. The hatred, hostility, and venom within us is like an infection in a festering wound. The gaping wound in our lives cannot be closed, and scar tissue will continue to develop until the infectious matter is removed. Most of us have to find our own ways to embrace the enemy. Sometimes it is a handshake, or a heart-to-heart conversation. Frequently, it is a letter quietly written, a hand upon a shoulder, a quiet word of encouragement or consolation. But there must be some overt and intentional reaching out to your enemy for forgiveness and healing to take place. Life is too wonderful to be drained of vitality by the illness of unforgiveness. And too many people have wasted away and succumbed to slow deaths of bitterness. We must embrace the enemy to be free from the pain of the past. Forgiveness is the heart of the gospel, reconciliation its central theme. And pure and unmerited grace is the only hope that any of us have in this world or the next.
One day General James Oglethorpe said to John Wesley, “I never forgive.” Wesley retorted, “Then I hope, sir, that you never sin.”
“The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.”