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Forgiveness

  

If we were active in a 12 Steps group and were working on Step 4 we would be making a “searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. How many of us would have to get out yet another tablet to figure out all those to whom we ascribe unforgiveness? This world is filled with actions of sin against one another and then people choose to live in unforgiveness because of these wrong doings. Sin and unforgiveness have a way of keeping us constantly in trouble. What isolates us from God is sin. Sin comes between relationships and even estranges ourselves from our own selves. Forgiveness is like a calcifying process that keeps us frozen in our sin. It keeps us from moving ahead to forgiveness and, at minimum, reconciliation with God and self.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt. 6:14-15

God gives us the free will to choose – forgive or not. When we choose unforgiveness, the emotional calcification process begins and we are doomed to being miserable physically and spiritually. Maybe we can paint up the sad face with a happy one for a church meeting or for a few hours at work, but eventually the sin will catch up with us.

God has immutable spiritual laws. Man’s ethics look at relative behavior and water down what Jesus proclaimed very pointedly in Matthew 6.

If we sow unforgiveness, we will reap unforgiveness and alienation from God. When we sow forgiveness we reap the Kingdom of God. That sounds much better!

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25-26

“So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4.

True love of God results in a compassionate willingness to forgive. It is not a naïve excusing of the wrong behavior. Others are accountable for their thoughts and actions.

As we daily pray that we forgive others as we are forgiven by God, we will find that a lot of extra burden is lifted off of us. Our minds as hard drives have freed up a lot of space that now can be used for the purposes of loving God. We can download spiritual understanding and wisdom better. If we find it very hard or just plain impossible to forgive someone then we need to pray, fast, and go to a trusted believer to assist in getting assistance. “Guard thy heart with all diligence”

Why do we overlook it so much and bury it deep in our hearts? How does our culture promote unforgiveness (i.e. revenge) or forgiveness?

3 Responses to “Forgiveness”

  1. on 13 Feb 2007 at 10:02 amSean

    Someone once said, “Forgiveness is the poison we drink thinking it will kill someone else.” The only one that unforgiveness effects is the one holding it. Besides, vengeance belongs to God and He will repay in due time. For a good sermon on forgiveness click here

  2. on 13 Feb 2007 at 7:33 pmKen

    Amen. It certainly involves a daily act of guarding one’s heart.
    Here is a translation of Colossians 3: 12-14 (by Wm. Barclay)
    You are God’s chosen people, dedicated and dear to Him. You must therefore clothe yourselves in compassion, in kindness, in humility, in gentleness, in patience. You must bear with each other, and, if anyone has something to complain about in someone else, you must forgive each other. You must forgive each other as the Lord forgave you. And, to crown all, you must clothe yourselves in love, which holds all the other qualities together and completes them.
    Evidently, there is no real flow of God’s love without a passionate commitment to forgive others. And that does not happen without a humble, honest realization of God’s willingness and power (through Christ’s sacrifice) to forgive us truly and deeply of a debt that far exceeds any for which we are to forgive others.

  3. on 14 Feb 2007 at 11:25 amMary Ann

    Ken,

    I really appreciate the verses. It is so good to be reminded daily, sometimes hourly about clothing myself in love – the glue that holds the fruit of the spirit together. How wonderful. Great translation.

    Most of the time (with myself and talking with others) I find that talking about forgiveness brings up blocks or barriers of unresolved pain that stymie me from moving forward with forgiveness. Working through releasing bitterness and resentment is a preliminary part of forgiveness. Knowing that God is the healer of broken hearts assists in this process. As you stated God’s love is limited in our lives when we harbor sin of unforgiveness. It takes a lot of work for many to get to that point because of the unresolved pain of trauma. It can’t be taken lightly.

  

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