For more than seven years I had the privilege of serving as editor of Worldwide Challenge magazine. One major highlight of those years was the opportunity to interview Corrie ten Boom. I was in awe that I was having a personal conversation with her. This is a portion of the article that ran in Worldwide Challenge, and only a small representation of the range of our interview. I hope you enjoy this little personal glimpse of a very great woman.
Since the publication of The Hiding Place, readers around the world have kept a soft spot in their hearts for the book’s author, Corrie ten Boom. Through this intense tale of human drama, unfolding around a theme of victory in suffering and persecution, Christians have come to understand the unique ministry of loving their enemies.
Miss ten Boom has become much in demand as a speaker, and her engagements take her on frequent tours of many nations. During one of her trips to the United States, Miss ten Boom took time to meet with Worldwide Challenge. Portions of her thoughts follow.
Corrie: Thank you for that question. There are several things on my heart – messages which I think are so important – that I know I must tell. One is that, when Jesus tells you to love your enemies, He gives you the love that He demands from you. That is something I have personally experienced. The Lord Jesus said, “. . . if you do not forgive men, then your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions: (Matthew 6:15). And since I know the Bible is true, since I know that Jesus has said it, I know that I can tell you now that you must forgive your enemies.
You can say to me, “Oh, you can say that. That is easy.” But you should also know what my enemies have done and how I have felt the miracle of grace the Lord has given me for the murders of five of my beloved and for the people who have been very cruel to me. Then you would know that there is this possibility through Jesus Christ. I tell people that they must claim Romans 5:5, which tells us that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
We should pray, “Thank You, Father, that Your love in me is stronger than my hatred or resentment.” And then people will have victory because it is Jesus giving victory.
The other thing I have been telling people is to be ready for Jesus’ coming – not by knowing what all the different denominations say about it, but by knowing what the Word of God tells us. I wish to be certain that the Lord will find you at peace with God and men – clean and blameless in His sight. That is not a strife for us, but it is possible through belief in the promises of the Bible and by looking at the cross. When we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all the sins we confess.
WWC: What do you see as the greatest need among believers today in terms of helping to fulfill the Great Commission?
Corrie: I think we need to remember the promise God made in II Chronicles 7:14: “If My people will humble themselves and pray, and search for Me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land” (Living Bible). God has given us a blank check and the bank in the Bible is not frozen. All we need to do is cash our checks.
We Christians need to learn to live as rich spiritually as we are in Jesus Christ. We cannot live on our own understanding or on the teaching of others, but we must act upon the Word of God. We are limited only by the limits of our own belief in the promises in the Bible. In the Phillips’ translation Paul says in his letter to the Colossians that he is “asking God that you may see things, as it were, from His point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding.” This is what we need today, so that like the Colossians, our outward lives would bring credit to our master’s name and our knowledge of God would grow deeper in our new life.
What about you? What is God saying to you today?
Worldwide Challenge, March, 1977