You may have thought that as an orphan care ministry we would say that the key to transformation is fundraising, feeding programs, or adoption. True, we may see lots of transformation come from those things, but we actually don’t believe that it’s the key.
It’s easy to measure external forms of success: thousands of kids fed, students enrolled in school, orphaned children placed in families. But we’ve found that unless we spend the bulk of time focusing on the internal world of these children, we may not see much long-term fruit. Why? Because it doesn’t matter if someone has access to all the resources in the world if their heart is bound up with forgiveness, anger, and brokenness. If these things are holding them back, they’ll likely perpetuate the same cycles of brokenness that they were born into.
Today we’re discussing the power of forgiveness. It’s the key to it all. It’s the thing that unlocks all kinds of freedom, peace, and hope. It’s the thing that breaks cycles of pain and fear.
When you’re hurt, the natural human response is to build up walls protect yourself. It’s normal to create space as a defense mechanism, and to distance yourself from the source of pain. Many times, however, these walls stay up way too long. After years of hurt and brokenness, the walls can be built so high that you can hardly even see straight anymore, because all you’ve known is hurt.
The solution is forgiveness.
To a person that has walked through a lot of injustice and pain, the word forgiveness sounds crazy. Do any of these responses sound familiar?
“I could never forgive them for what they did to me.”
“He/she doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.”
“I won’t forgive them unless they apologize first.”
The truth is, we don’t forgive because they deserve it. We forgive so that we can see again. So that we can let those walls down and live in freedom. Forgiveness clears our vision so that we can see clearly again. Forgiveness frees us to love fully, give without restraint, and create relationships that last. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what they did was right, it just means that you’re trusting God to handle the situation better than you could.
It’s one of the most powerful (and underused) tools that we have been given. Forgiveness leads to overflowing freedom, peace and hope. Hope that is contagious.