Devotions based on James Smith book. The Good and Beautiful Community

If we have been harmed greatly it may seem impossible for us to forgive that person. We may not be in the place where we want to forgive, even when we know we should.  The community can help in such situations and can stand with us in fellowship under the cross and offer prayers.  One way the author suggests is choosing a friend who would consider setting aside time each day to pray for that person and also for us, asking God to deepen our awareness of our own forgiveness. Knowing someone else is taking on the burden is freeing in itself.
Another way if we are at the point that we are ready to forgive that person ourselves, it may be helpful to reflect on scriptures that proclaim our own forgiveness like II Cor. 5:17-19. As we are able to pray for the person we are trying to forgive, it helps us get a new awareness of him and his situation. “People who hurt others are people who are themselves hurting because they have been hurt.”  God often gives us insight as to struggles they are going through.

Another way is to reflect on the truths of Jesus sacrifice for us, as we participate in communion at our church.  The center of the Lord’s Supper is the reminder that He has reconciled the world to Himself and He is renarrating our lives. This meal is a tangible experience of that. May we go to communion with new eyes as we participate in this wonderful means of grace.