have been serving here at CVC in a pastoral care role for the last five years (as the Pastor of Congregational Care since March of 2003). In that time, I have met a lot of hurting and angry people. You know what I hear from people more than anything else? You got it: I can’t forgive them!
Do you know what stands in the way of you being able to relate to God? Forgiveness!
I have had the privilege to sit with couples in the midst of their pain and help them identify their part of the problem. I have sat with men abandoned by their wives. I have also sat with women abandoned by their husbands. I have walked alongside those who have lost loved ones but live with regrets. I have listened to people cry out in anguish over the infidelity of a spouse. No matter the situation, pain is pain. And no matter the pain, you must forgive to experience God’s healing.
Marital discord is probably the most problematic area of division within churches. I had one couple in my office that was on the brink of divorce, mainly over issues of unfulfilled expectations of each other and not being able to communicate. They attended the STEP Ministry and began working on themselves. They also worked to forgive each other. It’s important to note that both these people are Christ-Followers and committed to obey God’s Word.
In one case, I was able to meet with two individuals from our church who were experiencing conflict. I was able to approach them and work toward reconciliation. I was able to listen to one church member describe the incident and talk about the serious fear that was experienced. I was able to listen to the other member talk about how bad the behaviors were and how he wanted to make amends to the other. Forgiveness was requested, and forgiveness was granted.
Both of them were relieved at having put this situation behind them, and the best part to this story is that both people still attend our church. Now that’s forgiveness and reconciliation in action!
Pastor Roy Conover