What lies beyond forgiveness?
On Sunday, we looked at what’s commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. A portion of this prayer that Jesus gave to us seeks forgiveness.
“And forgive us our debts…”
God will be quick to forgive a repentant heart. That’s real deal, wipe the slate clean, fresh start, grace and mercy that should never be glossed over. God forgives. That’s amazing.
But then what?
“Only by a stronger passion can evil passions be expelled, and…a soul unoccupied by a positive devotion is sure to be occupied by spiritual demons.
“The safety of the Master (Jesus) in the presence of temptation lay in his compete and positive devotion to his mission: there was no unoccupied room in his soul where evil could find a home; he knew what Dr. Chalmers called, “The expulsive Power of a new affection.”
“When Ulysses passed the Isle of Sirens, he had himself tied to the mast and had his ears stopped with wax, that he might not hear the sirens singing—a picture of many a man’s pitiful attempt after negative goodness.
“But when Orpheus passed the Isle of Sirens, he sat on the deck, indifferent, for he too was a musician and could make melody so much more beautiful than the sirens, that their alluring songs were to him discords.
“Such is the Master’s life of positive goodness, so full, so glad, so triumphant, that it conquered sin by surpassing it.”
Harry Emerson Fosdick, in The Manhood of the Master, gives us a glimpse down the pathway that is beyond forgiveness.
True repentance means a turning of the heart, a redirection, and a new orientation. To walk down that pathway, beyond forgiveness, positive goodness must be found, cultivated, and developed. New habits that bring light, joy, happiness, and love must be embraced.
What practices might you embrace beyond forgiveness?
Peace to you,