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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in forgiveness (3)


Forgiveness By Any Other Name

Vaishali condenses Swedenborg's writings into one compact statement of purpose. She encourages everyone to identify themselves with Divine Love and Wisdom, and explains how this is the key that unlocks heaven within us. What can stand against this love? If you'd like more on the topic of forgiveness, check out the brand new issue of New Church Connection magazine. -Editor

If I were to distill all of Emanuel Swedenborg’s writings into one concentrated principle it would be this: You are what you Love and you Love whatever you give your attention to. In the same way that the Earth circles around the Sun, everything revolves around this Law - every facet of human and spiritual existence.

Think of this Law as running sunlight through a prism. It reveals a spectrum of colors, the true essence of light, that is invisible to the naked eye. Everything is understandable and knowable in light of this Law. There is no spiritual maturity without embracing it and making one’s peace with it.

To further explore this Truth let’s see it in action. Take forgiveness for example. What is it? How does it happen? What does it look like? How does it feel? How can you be sure you are in a right relationship with it? Forgiveness is a choice, your choice, to grow beyond what has hurt you. But it is more than that. It is having the power to grow beyond any and all limitations.

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One Experience of "The Shack"

Abigail offers a personal response to the novel The Shack. While confounding influences tainted her lasting appreciation of the book, she was uniquely fed by it at a time when she was sincerely hungry. -Editor

I first read The Shack early in 2009. I had been married less than a year, and since getting married my Mom had died, I had miscarried a pregnancy at ten weeks, and I was at a loss as to the direction I was supposed to be heading with my life. Oh, and my husband was in his second year of Theological School, and in the daily practice of examining religious texts and wrestling with doctrine.

I was vulnerable and hurting. He was thinking critically as a theology student. We started the book together, but before long decided that I would continue it on my own. Malcolm couldn’t get past the questions he had about the presented doctrine, especially the presentation of the trinity and the human representation of God that is a major part of the plot. He felt mainly critical about the book, while I felt like it was teaching me things about the Lord and religion that I needed to hear.

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Meditate | Forgiveness

“The Lord cannot be worshipped except from charity” (Secrets of Heaven 440).

“The Lord… said that we should not forgive our brother or sister up to seven times but up to seventy times seven. This means that we should forgive as often as our brother or sister sins, without limit, or to eternity, which is holy” (Secrets of Heaven 433).

Forgiveness. I think—well, I can only know for myself—that my ego or outer self says, “Yes, forgive others without limit if…” If they repent, say. But I think this passage would have said something about that, inserted some additional clause, if that were the case. I think my role is to forgive, because the Lord is forgiveness and mercy itself. And the part of me that wants to withhold forgiveness until something that serves me has happened, like having the other person change his ways, is not of a heavenly origin. Even though a person changing his ways may be a good thing, my needing it to be so in order to forgive them is selfish and self-serving. Similar to what I’ve heard said of anger; the resentment that results from not forgiving others lives, along with all its negative effects, in the person not forgiving, whereas the other person is forgiven already by the Lord. Good things for me to think about.