Sunday, September 22, 2013

Forgiveness by Matthew West

It's the hardest thing to give away
The last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don't deserve

It's the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
Takes everything you have to say the word...


These words by Matthew West from his song Forgiveness ring true. I can relate to them and, if you are honest, you can too. Forgiveness is one of those acts that we know is the right thing to do, but incredibly difficult to follow through in application. We want justice. For things to be made right. Someone has to pay, right? Often we carry unforgiveness around  inside that weighs us down, sometimes resulting in a life of bitterness, pain, and distrust. When Jesus is hanging on the cross, he asks his Father to forgive those who are crucifying him. These words just do not compute in my finite mind because I know inside that wanting them to be forgiven would not be my top priority at that moment. Yet, Jesus used some of his last breaths to utter those words. Jesus understood and wanted us to understand as well.

Forgiveness. Easy to receive, hard to give.

Matthew West has taken on this difficult subject in his new book, Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible. Known for his songs that tell stories of life, West continues this style to bring us face to face with forgiveness through sharing true stories of forgiveness and unforgiveness to shed light on how both affect a life. Over the past few years, West collected stories that individuals shared with him and in this book he presents eighteen of them in four main sections: Forgiving Others, Asking for Forgiveness, Forgiving Yourself, and Embracing  God's Forgiveness. These stories will move you to face the unforgiveness in your own heart.

This book is recommended for all and is one of the best things I have read on the subject. I believe we have all struggled with the issue of forgiveness and my guess is that most of us are currently wrestling with this on varying levels, whether offering or receiving forgiveness from others or even from God. I believe your story will connect with at least one of the stories shared in this book.

We all have a story. Don't let it end with unforgiveness.West writes about the result of forgiveness in his song and in his book with these words:

It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do

So let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

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