Part of being Global Partners [i.e. missionaries] with Bethlehem Baptist Church means going through a fairly rigorous training process, called the Nurture Program. There are many seminars and classes to attend, books to read, questions to answer, and various other things to do as well. And it has all been good. In fact, it’s too bad that only missionaries are required to do it.
Anyways, one book that has been particularly helpful and heart-changing is The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande. I highly recommend it! It actually bumped its way up to my Top 5 Favorite Books list and might even vie for the #1 spot.
Because it deals with two inescape-ables: conflict and the Gospel.
Here is a sampling of what it says about forgiveness and why it is helping me so much:
“We often find ourselves practicing a form of forgiveness that is neither biblical nor healing.”
“Forgiveness if not a feeling.”
“Forgiveness is not forgetting.”
“Forgiveness is not excusing.”
“Forgiveness can be extremely costly, but if you believe in Jesus, you have more than enough to make these payments. By going to the cross, he has already paid off the ultimate debt for sin and established an account of abundant grace in your name. As you draw on that grace through faith day by day, you will find that you have all that you need to make the payments of forgiveness for those who have wronged you.”
“Forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises:
- I will not dwell on this incident.
- I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.
- I will not talk to others about this incident.
- I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.”
“Forgiveness is based on repentance, not on guarantees.”
Christmas is a time for peace – Peace on earth, Good will toward men. Perhaps this Christmas you will seek peace in your relationships. Here are a few ways I would recommend:
- Live in the Gospel everyday…”forgiving each other, just as the Lord has forgiven you.”
- Buy The Peacemaker for yourself and read it.
- Buy The Peacemaker for someone else and encourage them to read it.
A year or two ago, as a church family split into small groups, we went through The Peacemaker. You are so right! It was an excellent book and really – isn’t that what Christmas is all about (not new books – rather – the Ultimate Peacemaker)? On a different line of peace – may the rest of this month be filled with peace for both of you, as you anticipate your impending yet unknown departure. We are certainly looking forward to hearing/reading “We’ve made it!” Grace and peace (and a huge hug) – the Gowards