Monday, February 19, 2024

Inward and Outward Forgiveness


                                                          (Lake Erie, Sterling State Park)

For Christmas I received a copy of Tim Keller's book Forgive. I am slow-reading through it, using it as a devotional. It's so good!

One of Keller's points is to distinguish inward and outward forgiveness. In our counseling Linda and I mostly aim for both inward and outward. Even when the latter looks impossible.

We see inward forgiveness in Mark 11. There, "forgive them" means being willing to not avenge oneself. In Luke 17 "forgive them" means "reconcile to them." That's outward forgiveness, which is beautiful and amazing. Keller writes, "One could say that the first must always happen, and the second may happen but is not always possible."

"There is, then, a kind of forgiveness that ends up being inward only and another kind that issues outwardly toward a possible restored relationship." Like Matthew 24, where3 Jesus calls us to be reconciled to our sister or brother.