Saturday, May 21, 2011

Forgiveness

How was the Ladies' Conference? With one word: awesome!
I was never at this kind of conference before. I wanted to come two years ago, but I got sick and I couldn't come. Last year we didn't have one, because we were celebrating the 20th anniversary... but now, finally, I was able to be a participant too.
I was asked by the guest services weeks before to help at the registration, so my day began early in the morning. We had breakfast at 7:00 and my work began at 7:40.
I was late from the first part because of my work, missed the second part in full, but what I heard was basically enough for me. It's not that I didn't like the conference or the speaker, but we clarified the definition of "forgiveness". Those who know me, who know my past, may remember what I was struggeling with. My life wasn't a fairytale and bad things also had happened to me. After I realized the worst thing in my life and I knew for sure that I belonged to Jesus I had to forgive. This wasn't easy at all. People always kept asking me if I could really forgive... and I said always "yes", though I was doubting that in my heart. You know when you are asked the same question for many times, you just start think about it. That's what I did. While I was thinking, Satan was whispering his lies to me... Sometimes I believed him, sometimes not and I knew that I had to make it sure. After years I had the opportunity to meet this person again to find out if I had really forgiven him. After talking with him - though he didn't ask me for forgiveness, I rather felt pity but no anger. On the other hand I knew that we would never got closer to each other again. However I was still malking thoughts if this was a real forgiveness. In my vocabulary forgiveness always meant peace and this was the very first time when I heard that people often mix two words: forgiveness and reconciliation.    
Forgiveness means to dismiss a debt, to refuge revenge, to release the right to hear "I'm sorry", to be bitter... Forgiveness requieres only one person (= me), it's one-way, a change of thinking about the offender, a free gift, unconditional and doesn't need repentance. Reconciliation then again requires at least two persons, is reciprocal, needs a change of behavior from the offender, is a restored relationship, conditional and based on repentance.
Many assume that reconciliation is needed in the process of forgiving... but it's not!

~

The speaker was June Hunt -  an author, singer, speaker and founder of several radio broadcasts heard daily around the world. "Meet her" at http://www.hopefortheheart.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage         
As I told the theme of the conference was forgiveness based on her book: How To Forgive... When You Don't Feel Like It.
Product description at christianbook.com: Forgiveness is very hard for most of us, especially if the wrong done against you was very painful or the person who hurt you is not repentant. How can you forgive when you don't feel like it? Sometimes it seems easier to cling to resentment rather than letting go. In "How to Forgive...When You Don't Feel Like It" Biblical counselor June Hunt uses compassion and truth to help readers learn from Jesus' own example of how to forgive.
Her books were of course sold at the conference, and I not only bought one, but I asked her to sign it.

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