Saturday, January 28, 2012

Forgiveness: Breaking the Power of the Past, a Review by Kathy Porter

Unleash the Healing Power of Forgiveness

As imperfect people living in an imperfect world, we eventually find ourselves needing to extend or receive forgiveness in nearly every relationship. But when the wounds run deep, forgiveness doesn't come easy.

This liberating study deals with the difficult questions of forgiveness, including "How can I forgive when the pain is so great? Does forgiving mean I have to forget the past? and "What if I choose not to forgive?" As you dig into what the Bible says on this vital topic, you'll encounter the depths of God's own mercy and discover how choosing forgiveness can free you from a painful past and propel you toward being all that God intends you to be.

The teaching team at Precept Ministries International has teamed up yet again to bring Christians all over the world the "40-minute-a-week" Bible study that has the potential to change lives.

Human beings disappoint one another. They "fail" them. It's all in human nature, as nobody is perfect. So, at some point in each person's life, he/she is going to be faced with the challenge of forgiving others, or forgiving one's self. Often, the latter proves to be a more daunting task. Forgiveness is not only the Godly thing to do, as God has forgiven all of us for our numerous sins, but it gives peace to all involved.

The Bible can be interpreted in just about any way a person desires. Individuals frequently use "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" to justify their private craving for vengeance. This common flaw in humanity is one of the most important reasons Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson, have united to create their 40 minute Bible studies, which take place over a course of six weeks. Rather than just simply listing scriptures to help guide humans in need of answers from God, a real-life scenario from the Bible (such as Joseph's ability to forgive his brothers) is connected to the questions specifically being addressed.

The amount of interaction involved in each week's study is also amazing. Each week, participants within the small group (or an individual study, such as the one I've embarked upon) are instructed to underline and circle key words, phrases, and pronouns within the Bible verses (supplied on the same page as the questions and observations). Discussion is heavily encouraged and topics for such discussions are provided.

There is no doubt in my mind that, when the right heart turns to the study, clings to the Scriptures, and gives God the opportunity to speak (as His word is the only truth in life), lives will be transformed, and the power of forgiveness will free individuals of their painful pasts.

To conclude, as stated by Kay Arthur, David and BJ Lawson, "Forgiveness may cleanse the soul, but it also unlocks the very chains that hold you captive to the person who wronged you."

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.*

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