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“If we dare to call Christ our Savior, addressing him as “my Lord” or “my King and my God,” then the duty to forgive is ours. We must forego those responses that come to us more easily in the face of offense: sarcasm, an angry retort, sullen withdrawal, the inner pledge to get even, a proud, disdainful smirk. Every time He tells us “you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:4), we beseech Him to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). Let us not justify ourselves by insisting that whoever let fly the cutting remark, gave us a nasty dig, or loosed the most bitter cruelty upon us remains unrepentant. The reaction of the transgressor is no concern of ours in the face of Christ’s expectations.” (Dynamis 2/3/2020)

“It is possible to misunderstand the act of forgiveness as somehow being a weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. A sincere and humble act of forgiving another person for an offense that they have committed against us is a very powerful action. The lack of forgiveness gives Satan many tools which he can use against us, including hatred, resentment, and desire for revenge. The act of forgiveness leaves Satan with nothing to hold against us. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ forgave those who had nailed Him to the Cross.  His action shattered the devil and left him bewildered and confused.” (Metropolitan Joseph)

“Imagine, picture the multitude of your sins and imagine how tolerant of them is the Master of your life, while you are unwilling to forgive your neighbor even the smallest offense. Moan and bewail your foolishness, and that obstruction within you will vanish like smoke, you will think more clearly, your heart will grow calm, and through this you will learn goodness, as if not you yourself had heard the reproaches and indignities, but some other person entirely, or a shadow of yourself.” (St. John of Krondstadt)

“Much of the spiritual life is dedicated to one goal: complete self-mastery, especially in relation to control over one’s reactions. The more mature we are, spiritually, the greater control we have over our reactions. In other words, we have to be watchful over our thoughts, and maintain a spirit of love and compassion. When our thoughts accuse others, and we begin to be upset, then we need to cut off the thoughts and recognize that they are temptations. They are more about me than about the other person. The more we let our thoughts against the other fester, the harder it will be to rid ourselves of them, and resentments will develop. The basic principle of non-reaction, not only in deed, but in thought and feeling, and maintaining a spirit of peace, is the key. With this underlying attitude, it becomes difficult to get us to take offense, and thus, there is seldom a need for forgiveness or reconciliation. This, however, is a mark of very great maturity, and few there are that possess it.” (Hieromonk Jonah)

“We seem to be a people today who are so easily offended about everything and then overreact and take actions that make us feel better but really have no lasting effect on our hearts or the hearts of others. We need to search our hearts very carefully. If we find ourselves so easily offended we can be sure that pride, ego, lack of receiving and extending grace, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, and lack of love are all lurking in us in some measure. Christ makes it clear that how we love and forgive others is how God will judge us.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

#Dynamis #MetropolitanJoseph #StJohnofKrondstadt #HieromonkJonah #SacramentalLivingMinistries

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