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A Future with Forgiveness

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2021 7:00 pm

A Future with Forgiveness

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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January 30, 2021 7:00 pm

In 1994, when South Africa made the transition from government by apartheid (imposed racial segregation) to a democracy, it faced the difficult question of how to address the crimes committed under apartheid. The country’s leaders couldn’t ignore the past, but merely imposing harsh punishments on the guilty risked deepening the country’s wounds. As Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican Archbishop of South Africa, explained in his book  No Future Without Forgiveness, “We could very well have had justice, retributive justice, and had a South Africa lying in ashes.”

Through establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the new democracy chose the difficult path of pursuing truth, justice, and mercy. Those guilty of crimes were offered a path to restoration—if they were willing to confess their crimes and seek to make restitution. Only by courageously facing the truth could the country begin to find healing.

In a way, South Africa’s dilemma mirrors the struggle we all face. We’re called to pursue both justice and mercy (Micah 6:8), but mercy is often misunderstood to be a lack of accountability, while pursuing justice can become distorted into pursuing revenge.

Our only path forward is a love that not only hates what’s evil (Romans 12:9) but also longs for the transformation and good of our “neighbor” (13:10). Through the power of Christ’s Spirit, we can learn what it means to have a future of overcoming evil with good (12:21).

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Hi, and welcome to this daily encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Monica LaRose wrote today's reading and titled it A Future with Forgiveness. In 1994, when South Africa made the transition from government by apartheid, or imposed racial segregation, to a democracy, it faced the difficult question of how to address the crimes committed under apartheid. The country's leaders couldn't ignore the past, but merely imposing harsh punishments on the guilty risked deepening the country's wounds.

As Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican archbishop of South Africa, explained in his book No Future Without Forgiveness, we could very well have had justice, retributive justice, and had a South Africa lying in ashes. Through establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the new democracy chose the difficult path of pursuing truth, justice, and mercy. Those guilty of crimes were offered a path to restoration. If they were willing to confess their crimes and seek to make restitution, only by courageously facing the truth could the country begin to find healing.

In a way, South Africa's dilemma mirrors the struggle we all face. We're called to pursue both justice and mercy, but mercy is often misunderstood to be a lack of accountability, while pursuing justice can become distorted into pursuing revenge. Our only path forward is a love that not only hates what is evil, but also longs for the transformation and good of our neighbor. Through the power of Christ's Spirit, we can learn what it means to have a future of overcoming evil with good.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Romans chapter 12 verses 9-21. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love.

Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need.

Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice.

Mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position.

Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written, It is mine to avenge. I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him.

If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Let's pray. Lord, the pain of injustice is all around us, and it seems we are drawn more toward revenge than mercy, toward meeting injustice with injustice, which just compounds the problem. The scriptures tell us that you desire justice that is marked by mercy and redemption. Help us to see injustice through your eyes, and teach us your way of justice that leads to reconciliation and true healing. Thank you, Father. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-29 21:23:35 / 2023-12-29 21:25:26 / 2

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