Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness by Bruce Wilkinson with Mark Strong

We get emotionally hurt and are wounded. We have the choice to forgive or not forgive. If we don't forgive, that wound will fester just like a physical one does when left untreated. Unforgiveness has serious consequences. Wilkinson refers to the parable in Matthew 18 to show that unforgiveness is always accompanied by suffering of some kind. (13) God guarantees it. “It is the Father who assigns suffering to accompany unforgiveness in our lives.” (19) It is a form of discipline because God loves us.

How have I missed this relationship between suffering and unforgiveness? Granted, as Wilkinson points out, not all suffering is from unforgiveness. But it was certainly worth reading this book to understand the relationship between suffering and unforgiveness and see if it is part of my own life. Just as my unforgiveness would initiate suffering, my forgiveness will end it. It doesn't work to ignore the wound. It must be treated. Wilkinson shares the results of continued unforgiveness and it is not pretty.

This little book contains a very important message. Wilkinson takes readers through the progressive stages of unforgiveness, ultimately leading to hatred and vengeance. Thank God He has provided a way to joy, peace, love and freedom. That way is forgiveness. That may not be easy but Wilkinson helps readers go through that process. He clearly identifies the steps to the true forgiveness God requires. He also tells great stories as examples of people being freed, good encouragement.

Wilkinson is adamant. Forgiveness will set us free. He feels so strongly about it he guarantees that readers who commit to reading and doing the book will experience the freedom God intended. (xiv) He has tasks for readers to do and questions upon which to reflect. He also provides a website where readers can access additional resources.

I highly recommend this excellent book. It will take courage but this book can be life changing as you forgive others and yourself. (This book was previously released in 2016 with the title, The Freedom Factor.)

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Bruce Wilkinson is an international ministry leader and New York Times bestselling author of over sixty books. His books have been translated into thirty languages. He has founded a number of ministries, including Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. He has led national reconciliation meetings in Uganda, Namibia, and South Africa. He is currently the chairman of Teach Every Nation and the founder and chairman of The Exponential Group. He and his wife live in South Carolina. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.
Mark Strong is the lead pastor of Life Change Church in Portland, Oregon, and the author of several books.

Zeal Books, 176 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bring It On Communications. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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