Do you know how to forgive?
I so enjoyed listening to the Gateway Church podcast this morning with Pastor Robert Morris, that I felt I should carry this message on my blog. Also, we just celebrated Easter and I think we should keep the message of forgiveness close to our hearts.
So, I asked if you knew how to forgive…
Have you had a conversation lately that you may have responded, “Well, last time…you did……(fill in the blank)
If you have recalled, rehearsed and recounted, or negatively brought to remembrance the actions done in the past by you or another individual, maybe…just maybe
you haven’t considered what the true meaning of forgiveness is.
Jesus said, “I will remember your sins no more“
Remembering sounds like this…..
“I recall last time you did this, or said this”
If you look up the word remember, the first word in the definition is “recall”.
So Jesus said, “I will recall your sins no more”
If we call ourselves Christians, a basic fundamental element to our walk is forgiveness.
To forgive is this..
To disregard someones actions or offense. To excuse.
To feel no resentment toward, to harbor no grudge. absolve. release.
And the first antonym listed is? Punish. (ouch)
Who are you punishing today by your silence? Who are you avoiding? Who are you holding hostage that Jesus has already set free?
Our basic instructions when Christ rose from the dead was to go and tell everyone that they have been forgiven! He paid our debts! If Christ had not died for our sins, we would have no good news to share.
Mark 16:15, Go into all the world and preach the good news.
The good news is… you are off the hook! You can accept Jesus and have eternal life! God is not going to recall your sins again.
I admit….I am challenged at letting go of some things I have walked through, and at times, I have a hard time forgiving myself! I think God allows us to remember so that we are always reminded that we need a Savior. Always. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned….
We have all missed the mark. But…
I am learning the discipline of not recalling.
One way I do this is to immediately change my thoughts to something else. You can’t go back in time, so why try to fixate on an issue that is done. The best thing you can do is release it. Forgive.
Another thing I do to release people from grudges is to remind myself of all I have been forgiven for. Since everything is equal in the eyes of God, the scales do not miraculously lean in my direction when weighed alongside the shortcomings of others.
Parenting has taught me more about forgiveness than any other role. We have walked through some challenges with our kids that have caused me to see how UNCONDITIONAL my love is with them, and how CONDITIONAL it can be with the mister:) We have got get the unconditional part down because God is certainly not testing us on who is easy to forgive! He’s testing us in areas where forgiveness may be a little tougher.
When I have a new situation arise with any of my children that requires discipline, I can’t put a yoke around their neck that has already been removed. Constantly recalling what they did last time is NOT discipline, nor is it forgiveness. I shouldn’t bring up the last issue we conquered because I have forgiven them. To do the opposite would be to “UN-Forgive” them….not a good idea.
Now its a struggle at times to not bring up something that was really dumb and frustrating! But if you have a 10 second breathing policy, maybe God can reveal to you HOW MANY TIMES HE HAS BEEN AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WITH YOU! How many times has God forgiven you for making the same mistake?
Forgiveness chooses not to recall. Forgiveness is the nature of Christ.
Forgiven is what I am. Forgiveness is liberty for me, and liberation from my attempt to hold captive the people whom Christ has forgiven.