Voices of Faith: The power of forgiveness

  • By Roger Campbell
  • Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:55pm
  • News

“Will you pray that God will take me home to heaven?” asked a depressed grandmother.

Upon hearing my refusal to pray as she had requested, this troubled woman poured out a story of bitterness toward her family. She felt unloved and unwanted because those with whom she lived seemed to show her little respect and she was unwilling to forgive them. As a result, life didn’t seem worth living anymore.

Perhaps you can identify with this woman with a broken heart. If so, try forgiving those who’ve let you down and see how quickly your dark clouds disappear.

But how can we forgive those who have wounded us deeply?

We must hurry to the first principle of forgiveness: God loves us and offers forgiveness to us even though we don’t deserve to be forgiven.

In his book, “Notes on the Parables,” Richard Trench says in requesting and receiving forgiveness, we pledge ourselves to show it.

Over half a century ago, five young missionaries were martyred in Ecuador by a group of Auca Indians. The shocking news of this tragedy gave birth to books and other means of publicizing the heroic efforts of those who had given their lives to reach those who knew nothing about God’s love for them.

Elizabeth Elliott’s book “Through Gates of Splendor,” became a classic telling of what happened that day on a remote jungle beach and “Jungle Pilot,” the story of Nate Saint, one of the martyred ones, challenged many to volunteer for missionary service to replace those who had lost their lives in the service of their Lord. Saint’s statement, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” has been a mind sticker and motivator for me for half a century.

How did the family members of these martyrs react to those who participated in this tragedy?

They forgave them, even choosing to live among them in the jungle and continue the work of their martyred men.

Has this forgiveness and continued ministry made a difference?

No question about it.

Experts say the dedicated work of these family members saved the tribe from extinction because the example of forgiveness shown to them caused these people to halt their long practice of revenge killing that had been decimating the tribe for generations.

Forgiveness and families go together.

Who in your family do you need to forgive?

What example will your forgiveness be to other members in your family?

How will your forgiveness affect your church and community?

Let all of your anger and bitterness be put away.

Become a forgiving person today!

Roger Campbell was an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. A new book containing over one hundred of his best columns, “Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree,” is now available at your local or online bookseller. Contact us at rcministry@ameritech.net.

More in News

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than 5 years old are now approved by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
COVID shots for kids under 5 available at public health

Roughly 18 million kids nationwide will now be eligible to get their COVID vaccines.

Megan Mitchell, left, and Nick McCoy protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning of Roe v. Wade at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Heartbroken’, ‘Betrayed’: Alaskans react to Roe decision

Supreme Court decision ends nearly 50 years of legally protected access to abortion

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)
Alaskans react to Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion.

Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/ Mark Thiessen)
Lawsuit says Sweeney should advance in Alaska US House race

The lawsuit says the fifth-place finisher in the special primary, Republican Tara Sweeney, should be put on the August special election ballot

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska AFL-CIO endorses Walker, Murkowski, Peltola

The AFL-CIO is Alaska’s largest labor organization and has historically been one of its most powerful political groups

A portion of a draft letter from Jeffrey Clark is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Federal agents search Trump-era official’s home, subpoena GOP leaders

Authorities on Wednesday searched the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark

Most Read