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Blogs by Ambassador Ray

Forgiving – the key to healing

August 3, 2010

Over the centuries of recorded human habitation of this planet, our history is replete with events of oppression, discrimination and subjugation.  For someone who has been subjected to such indignities, forgiving the perpetrators is understandably difficult.  But, if there is to be healing, if in fact, this planet is to survive, forgive we must.

The Lord’s Prayer, as shown in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, says “. forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” and “. . .forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”  In Aramaic, the word debt also means sin, and one cannot doubt that the things that have been done to people throughout history, because of the color of their skin, the deity they worship, the language they speak; or simply because they happen to occupy resources that someone else coveted, were sins of the most horrific kind.  In fact, these sins continue to be committed even in the 21st century.

Refusal to forgive those who have transgressed against us is neither the road to salvation nor survival.  This simply perpetuates strife and stifles progress.  To move forward to a brighter future for ourselves and those who would follow us, we must learn to forgive.  We should never forget so that we can always be reminded of what we should not do, but we should develop the capacity to forgive.

When we think of the wrongs that have been done to us, or to others, I can think of no better words to guide our actions than those uttered by Jesus as his tortured body hung upon a cross, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Charles A. Ray
U.S. Ambassador, Harare

August 3, 2010
Newsday