Showing posts from February, 2016

Anatomy of Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague on forgiveness, reconciliation and guilt. And I realised that we often hide a lot of presumptions about forgiving people and reconciling with them and we inevitably read these presumptions into the scripture. Perhaps, this issue can first be explored from the Scripture.

One place to start is to think about what the Scripture says about God forgiving us and what it entails. To me, the mercy of God towards our sins is manifested on the Cross of Jesus Christ and explained through His gospel. Paul summed it up very clearly and succinctly in his epistle to the Romans:

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faithfrom first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” - Romans 1:17  It was later written further in the epistle:
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through fait…

Whose side are we on?

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. - Joshua 5:13-15 Recently I have thinking about this passage. In this passage, Joshua asked a very interesting question to the man who was identified later as the commander of the army of the Lord, "which side was he on?" You see, when you are asking someone if he is for you or for your enemies, the underlying assumption is that the person either centered around you or around your enemies. Either you or your enemies becomes the center of focus. In the con…