“…forgiving love is tender, but not soft. It is honest but never merciless. It brings eternal hope, never retribution.”
“It is easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves. While we are in the process of being honest with ourselves we often become overwhelmed by the gulf between what we are and what we out to be…We must not get lost in making comparisons with past experiences…”
So writes Anna Mow in Say Yes to Life (1970, Zondervan Publishing House). Anna Mow served the Church of the Brethren as a missionary to India, author, speaker, and eventually as an ordained minister. Anna continues, suggesting that we remind ourselves “I am not yet perfect, I am in the process. I will not waste any energy kicking myself.’ It is pride that taunts me by saying, ‘After all this time, haven’t you grown more than this?’ But Christ says with loving encouragement, ‘You are growing. That is the reason you can see more things in your life that are not perfect. Let my grace continue to work, to cleanse and strengthen you.”
“When pride accuses, the sense of guilt which follows is debilitating until it is recognized for what it is. When pride accuses, the guilt is general; when God reveals, it is specific. A trained conscience under the guidance of the Spirit is a moral and spiritual agency serving our growth. In the light of His love the recognition of failure is always accompanied with the forgiveness of His love.
This forgiving love is tender, but not soft. It is honest but never merciless. It brings eternal hope, never retribution… It is the great “now,” always a new beginning, unfettered by the past, set free to be God’s child. Growth means constant renewal of life, which means we are always on the edge of new creation.”