Last update: 4th February 2023
Forgiveness as a source of liberation
Good morning, friends! This morning I would like to tell you about a man called Job, but from a different point of view than what we usually hear!
Yes ! Job is healthy, has a wife and children, and is very wealthy. In today’s day and age we could say that he has “made it” and life is good for him.
Yes ! Job lives in respect and love for God.
In pain, he doesn’t receive any help from his friends
And it’s not long before he loses all of his possessions, his children, his health. He finds himself in total destitution and extreme suffering. Friends come to support and comfort him, but they burden him even more, because they make their own assumptions about their friend’s situation.
For example, they are convinced that all suffering is necessarily the result of sin, which is false. They use this conception of suffering to make Job feel guilty in order to persuade him to repent. Another talks about pride and divine treatment to make Job humble himself. Long story short, his friends talk a lot, but the fact of the matter is that their lecturing does not help Job at all, on the contrary! Even his wife is not able to support him in a way that is helpful.
Job feels totally misunderstood, terribly lonely. So, Job is suffering physically, morally and psychologically. What a nightmare, and yet everything is very real! Regardless, Job perseveres in his devotion to God, to whom he expresses all his misfortunes and incomprehension about what is happening to him. God speaks to him in his situation.
He chooses to forgive them
And at the end of the book of Job, in chapter 42, verse 10, it is written that the Lord restored Job to his former state when he prayed for his friends (and granted him twice as much as all that he had possessed). I am very touched by Job’s character who continued to seek his God and blessed those around him instead of practising the law of the time which consisted of fighting fire with fire: Job did not opt for reproaches or revenge… Job prayed for his friends.
His attitude reminds us of the verse in Matthew 5 where Jesus says: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who abuse and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”. In the story of Job, we see that praying for his “enemies” allowed Job to be restored. There is a secret in praying, especially praying for those who hurt us. Prayer soothes; it purifies the heart and comforts it. Unconditional love fills it, like a healing ointment on a wounded body.
Job makes the choice to forgive everyone and enjoyed a personal liberation and restoration.
Forgiveness is a real source of liberation!
He welcomed them and blessed them
To forgive someone is an act of generosity towards some particular people.
I am also touched by Job’s generosity towards everyone, not only towards those close to him, but also towards the crowd of the indifferent, the anonymous. Indeed, once he had recovered, Job welcomed his brothers and sisters, all his former acquaintances, and offered them food in his house. What a heart! What magnanimity!
By choosing to forgive everybody, Job experienced a deep liberation.
God is on your side! Have a beautiful day, friends!