Commitment-Phobe: Our Fathers …
On fathers and forgiveness
‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ These words form part of the Lord’s Prayer, which is a fundamental of the Christian faith. Recently, my church leaders have made sure that we all say it together at the end of prayers. But I have found myself wondering if I do forgive others as God forgives me.
When I first came to faith, I was attending an Alpha course and was on the Alpha away day, the ‘Holy Spirit day’. At the time, I was struggling with a long distance argument via Facebook with my father, from whom I had spent most of my life estranged, interspersed with the occasional battle for variety. This latest eruption was particularly painful, as hurtful words written are harder to erase in the mind than words spoken in heat can be. As a result of this, I metaphorically divorced myself from him by changing my surname.
So, on the Holy Spirit day, I was hurting, and desperate to feel the love of God, but
feeling completely unworthy to do so, because I could not forgive my father and because I was not trusting of fathers in general, including holy fathers. But something changed in me as I encountered and conversed with God in that spiritual moment. Some burden was lightened, and instead of a conditional perfectionism, I received a sense of all-encompassing and eternal love. I was hooked…
Commitment-Phobe is a new Christian
This is an extract from the February 2017 edition of Reform.