My favorite cologne is Curve. I’ve grown so fond of it that I’m experimenting with all sorts of different Curve scents – Wave, Crush, Chill, and Connect, just to name a few. I consider Liz Claiborne to be a genius when it comes to men’s cologne – but not even she could manufacture the fragrance poured on me last night.
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain
Yesterday I rediscovered the joy of forgiveness. It has been said that you can’t undo anything you’ve already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And then let God do the rest.
Last night God did a work that cleansed my heart and reaffirmed His unconditional love for me. I had hurt someone whom I had grown to care for, and the hurt had affected my attitude and outlook. The guilt and regret proved to be gutwrenching and difficult to deal with….and yet, when I sought forgiveness and removed all expectations from my mind, the one thing I most needed was exactly what I received.
“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.” – Alan Paton
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Catherine Ponder
Perfect forgiveness is a two-way street that only results from the grace of God. On one side, the guilty party should acknowledge the wrong that was done (aka “sin”) and seek pardon. Forgiveness is only sought by those truly heartbroken by the consequences of sinful actions. On the other side, the person petitioned for forgiveness must be willing to release all anger, resentment, bitterness, and mistrust. After all, according to Lewis B. Smedes, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” A person willing to forgive absolutely is a person who is absolutely free.
When I rendered my motion for acquittal, I discovered I had already been indicted and charged with a crime. The accusing party had already shown evidence of my offense, and my own acknowledgement of guilt left little need for proof. Although a conviction was the only possible result, it was still necessary to hear the testimony of the victim. That’s when love came to my rescue.
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” – Robert Muller
What I needed most was the very thing I deserved the least. Yet, in a remarkable act of selfless sacrifice, my accuser dismissed the charges and pronounced me innocent. The one whose heart I had hurt bought me a ticket to freedom.
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov
Forgiveness reeks of strength. Only the strong can heroically hug the heathen who hurt them. Only the tough can transform the tragic torture of torment into triumphant thoughts of tenderness. The victory that comes from forgiveness springs from a heart of love….a gritty love. The unconditional, supernatural agape love of Christ. It’s not a love that’s soft, frilly, and lacey. It’s a love that’s bloody, passionate, and violent. The love of Christ is a love that came at the greatest expense in human history by way of the strongest heart in the universe. The cost of forgiveness is “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19, KJV) offered from the heart of Jehovah God.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese
“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.” – Lewis B. Smedes
Yesterday I needed forgiveness. Yesterday I received forgiveness. And the fresh fragrance that freed my heart renewed my outlook on life. The fragrance of forgiveness flows from the wellspring of a heart willing to love the unlovely. Not even Liz Claiborne could bottle that.