"Oh, I forgive you as a Christian, of course; but there are some things one can never forget!" This line comes from C. S. Lewis's book The Great Divorce. While it is spoken in heaven, the character who speaks it is from hell. Lewis's point is that in heaven no one dares to think like this. The line makes all of us laugh because in it we see the all-too-human attempt to sanctify hard-heartedness. Not too far beneath the laughter, however, we shrivel inside as we wonder if we face the same future as the ghost who spoke the line. While Lewis's book was speculative fiction, he was thoroughly biblical in linking forgiving with being forgiven. The connection was drawn very clearly by Jesus in the Lord's Prayer. So where does that leave us when we fail to forgive?
Rick Ritchie is a long-time contributor to
Issue: "The Lord's Prayer" July/August 1993 Vol. 2 No. 4 Page number(s): 17-19
You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet. We request that you link to this article from your website. Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (email@example.com).
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit www.modernreformation.org or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.