A Classic Article from the Late Lewis Smedes–Forgiveness””The Power to Change the Past

Two anxieties dominate most of our lives. We are anxious in the face of our unchangeable past; we long to recreate segments of our private histories, but we are stuck with them. We are anxious in the face of our unpredictable futures; we long to control our destinies, but we cannot bring them under our management. Thus, two basic longings, lying at the root of most others, are frustrated: we cannot alter a painful past or control a threatening future.

God offers two answers to our deepest anxieties. He is a forgiving God who recreates our pasts by forgiving them. He is a promising God who controls our future by making and keeping promises. By forgiving us, he changes our past. By promising, he secures our future.

By his grace we participate in his power to change the past and control the future. We, too, can forgive, and must forgive….

Read it all–quoted by yours truly in this morning’s sermon.


Posted in Pastoral Theology, Theology