Forgiving the Unthinkable

For our time together, I have an interesting tea blend for us called Pumping Pomegranate, it contains the tastes found in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul; hibiscus, rosehip, spices, apple & elderberries.

We are going to reflect upon a difficult but essential topic as we sip this interesting blend today.

I thought in keeping with the travel theme of the middle east, we would have some delicious dates, almonds, dried apricots all from Turkey with gf orange blossom & fig cookies.

Now we are enjoying these delights, let us begin our reflection…

Have you ever had to forgive the unthinkable?

I realise that question may raise some queries at to what exactly unthinkable or maybe another way of putting it would be unforgivable means.

It really can be defined as; any action that is so great that it can be classified as unforgivable or unthinkable to the one on the receiving end of that action.

And I do understand, truly I do, that to forgive an action that is classified as unforgivable is no easy or light task to even contemplate, let alone do!

Why do I understand?

Because I too have had to come to that place in forgiving a medical professional whose actions caused the death of my only son, Benjamin. Which I shared in The truth behind the mask.

However, forgiveness, isn’t a one time event, is it!

For in our exegetical dig into The Lord’s Prayer, we have come to the verse that highlights this very topic.

Let’s look at the entire prayer first to get this verse in context;

Our Father who is in Heaven,

Holy is your name,

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven,

Provide for us today our daily needs,

And forgive us our transgressions,

as we forgive others their transgressions against us, 

Help us not to stray into temptation, 

But deliver us from the evil one. 

Amen.

Matthew 6: 9-13

However, there’s an initial part to that verse isn’t there, ‘And forgive us our transgressions, as we forgive others…’ Jesus is teaching us an important principle here which we will examine today.

Isn’t it just Semantics?

In translating this verse in the intervening years from the original Aramaic that Jesus spoke, into Greek. Then into the English versions, various words have been used in what we are asking forgiveness for & forgiving; debts, sins, trespasses, offenses & transgressions are some.

However, I always like to go back to the original source for the true context & meaning. The Aramaic word that Jesus used here is;

‘ḥōb,

which means a debt owed…a moral debt.’ 

So for a better understanding we will use the following;
 
 
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’ 
 
 
So Jesus is teaching us two things in this verse,
  • to keep short accounts with our heavenly Father for our daily actions, thoughts & behaviors that have not glorified Him.
  • And to forgive the moral debt of another’s actions toward us that have hurt us in some way!
Because when someone hurts us it takes an emotional toll on us, doesn’t it! And if left to fester that hurt will extract a far greater toll then we could have ever imagined!
 
It will bind us to the hurt as long as we hold onto it! And in the end we will find ourselves in bondage to that emotional hurt which will overtake our lives robbing us of all joy!
 
Forgiveness is a gift!
 
Recently, here in Australia a new day of celebration has been added to our calender, called i4Give Day.
 
You may be asking what prompted this day.
 
Well, twelve months ago a group of children were making their way to buy ice cream, some walking while others rode their bikes alongside, all happy & excited at the anticipation of an ice cream treat on that hot Summer’s day..
 
But they never arrived to buy their ice cream…
 
Because a drunk driver, driving recklessly & speeding had careened off the road! This out of control vehicle had jumped the pavement & plowed straight into the children!
 
All were hurt, some seriously & four were killed, all of these children were from the same extended family.
 
Three of the children that were killed were siblings, the fourth, their cousin. All the children there that day will bear emotional scars.
 
This event deeply impacted all of us here in Australia. But the thing that has amazed & greatly affected people since, is the choice the parents of the three siblings made in that moment when they realized three of their six children had been killed.
 
In that moment of this unthinkable tragedy they chose to forgive the drunk driver who had killed their three children!
 
These parents stated that Jesus forgave His killers while dying a horrific death on the cross, quoting Jesus’ words;
 
‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do…’
Luke 23: 34
 
“And in that we have His example of forgiveness to pass on to all those who hurt us,” they said.
 
 
i4Give Day
 
“Parents Daniel & Leila Abdallah have created i4give Day as a remembrance of the four angels that were tragically lost on the 1st of February 2020.
This is to also help others who have suffered in a similar way.
As well as this, it is a National day of forgiveness where you could find someone you can forgive or ask for forgiveness.
 
Reminding us what Jesus taught us in The Lord’s Prayer that forgiveness for all things, even for the unthinkable, is possible through God’s daily strength & grace.
 
And whats more is it’s totally freeing, as Jesus knew it was & taught us to do two thousand years ago.
 
Until next time,
 
Jennifer

The next in this series is Aliens Amongst Us…Really? →

← Sustenance in the Wilderness the previous


© 2021 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog All Rights Reserved.  Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com 

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26 thoughts on “Forgiving the Unthinkable

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  1. What a powerful story and example this family has left for us all. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. You give us all a great deal to think and rethink as we consider what this command to forgive who are “moral debtors” in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pam, I was greatly inspired by this family who are publicly living out their faith in the face of such tragedy.
      It really is food for thought for all of us when we go back to Christ’s original meaning here…
      Lovely having you drop by 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful, Jennifer. I love the way you emphasized those words, forgiveness is ongoing, as we forgive. There are things that are so hard, and the hurt comes back up in our hearts long after we thought we had forgiven. I am so thankful that the grace of Jesus is right there to help us forgive again. Blessings and grace to you dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful example of grace and forgiveness. I read this with tears in my eyes Jennifer. So often, we think forgiveness is a feeling, but it’s really a choice, and often one we have to make over and over. Thank you for reminding us of its importance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer, such an impactful post. I have struggled with forgiveness of injustice too, and acknowledge the difficulty. Yet at the same time as you so skillfully pointed out the ramifications of not forgiving are much worse. Indeed forgiveness is a gift both to the offended and the offender. What a wonderful concept i4GiveDay is, I wish we had something in our country like that! Thank you do much for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did read about the death of your dear son, Jennifer. My sympathies to you and your family. You are so right – forgiveness is a choice we must make over and over again. I look to my Amish neighbors for wonderful examples of forgiveness. They forgive immediately and completely, even the most “unforgivable” actions. Forgiving frees both the person who has transgressed and the person who forgives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree kmommy, forgiveness is never easy. But it’s necessary for us to be able to move forward from that hurt & be free from the resentment that binds us to the perpetrator & the circumstances surrounding that pain & hurt.
      Personally, that’s why I need God’s strength & grace in forgiving & Jesus knew this. That’s why He included this important point in His teaching on prayer. He knew to forgive is a choice for us & that we would need God’s help to follow through with that forgiveness.
      Lovely to have you join me in a cuppa today 😀

      Like

  6. That is such a sad story about the children who were killed, but what an amazing and beautiful response from the family to turn the legacy of that tragic day into something so positive and full of hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope that i4Give Day spreads to the U.S. What a lovely thing! But what a horrible event that led up to it. And wow, you definitely have had to do major forgiving. I didn’t know that story about your son. I am so sorry to hear it. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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