Myth 5: Forgiveness Means You Can Forgive Halfheartedly
Forgiveness is often a process. If an offense is particularly heinous, it may take several attempts to actually rid your heart of the pain associated with it and free the offender from their wrongdoing. Merely saying you forgive, but not doing the hard work of surrendering the pain to Jesus does yourself and the offender a great disservice.
Biblical forgiveness: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any roots of bitterness
or resentment that have taken root because of a wrongdoing that was not
forgiven fully. If the Holy Spirit
reveals nothing, then you know you have
forgiven. If the Spirit reveals a
picture, word or vision of an offensive way, get rid of it quickly, so it does
not take root.
– Sunday Devotional: Psalm 66:1-8, 16-20,There are many thoughts that come to mind when we think of our God. AWESOME comes to the forefront of our minds when we consider the wonders of his wisdom. He has demonstrated his awesomeness throughout time and eternity and has allowed us to witness some of it here in time. Study with us this week as we examine the awesomeness of the Lord God.
The children of Israel we eyewitnesses of God’s awesomeness when He delivered from the hand of Pharaoh (Exodus 15). The power and sheer might of the Lord in utterly destroying the Egyptians was reduced to how able he is to deliver his people from even the darkest of days. God has no limit to his power nor is there any who can rival this power. We are encouraged to rest in the Lord and He will bring us through.
In reading the account of the the three Hebrew youths who refused to bow and worship another god, instead they chose to be faithful and trust the true and living God. God did not deliver them from the fiery condemnation but rather chose to deliver them while they were in the fire. King Nebuchadnezzar was so taken by the awesome display of God he himself blessed the Lord Da. 3:28-29. and is recorded as stating;
Dan. 4:3 “How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation”
It is to our advantage that we too recognize and appreciate who God is and give Him the respect he deserves. Great is our God and he is greatly to be praised. Every day we are positioned to experience and witness the simple awesome power, wisdom and grace of our eternal Lord.
“Just because you have forgiven someone doesn’t mean you have to trust them. If the offender has a track record of wronging others and has a blatant disregard for others’ welfare, you would be foolish to believe they won’t do it to you too.”
Biblical forgiveness: Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Speak the truth in love to others. Tell others plainly that they have wronged you and the way in which they have done so. Don’t allow them to trick you into believing the offense is your fault. Do this in the hopes they will become more mature in the faith.
Enabling is not the same as forgiveness. To forgive does not mean you allow someone to continue to hurt you over and over. Allowing this lessens your respect for yourself and degrades one of God’s prized creations-you!
Biblical Forgiveness: Establish and maintain clear boundaries between yourself and others. When someone offends you, be quick to forgive and slow anger.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. “ Colossians 3:13;
If the offense continues, ask yourself if this person puts you or themselves first. If they put themselves first, be honest about the state of the relationship. If the offender refuses to repent, cut ties.
Forgiveness Means You Need to Have Them In Your Life
One of my favorite books of the Bible is the Song of Songs (Songs of Solomon). Chapter 3:1-4, describe the yearning heart of the young woman for her lover…she decided that she would leave her bed and roam the city to go searching for her lover, in all the surrounding areas. The profound statement she utters says it all, “I will search for the one I love.” My point, Christians do not need to have “little foxes” in their life. The little foxes are an example of the kinds of people who bring toxicity in our lives. Those who would keep us in abusive relationships through their vain deceptions. Let us do as the young woman did, seek the Lord with all our heart. He wants us to have positive and praying people in our lives and He is to be number ONE:
Stay as clear as possible of people who have a negative impact on your life. Forgive and love them (sometimes at a distance).
Biblical Forgiveness: Love your enemies. Pray for them. Ask the Lord to soften their heart and pray for reconciliation and restoration.
Final Take – (Romans 12:18) “ If it is possible,as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Psalm 46:10 says that followers of Christ should “Be still and know…God”. I submit that one of the things we should know about God is that He forgives us of sin-through His Son, Jesus Christ. It because He forgives us, we, born again Christians are commanded by God, “To forgive those who sin against us…” [Luke 11:4, NLT].
In her article, 7 Myths We Have About Forgiveness (And what Biblical Forgiveness Really Looks Like), Michelle Lazurez, shares some interesting information, that will hopefully help us better understand God’s command to be still and know what forgiveness is about. According to the Scriptures.
MYTH #1 – Forgiveness Equals Forgetting
People think that because they have forgiven someone, that they have to instantly forget the offense. But only God can do that.
Biblical forgiveness: Forgiving doesn’t mean we forget, just that we actively fight to surrender the hurt to God. Choose not to remember the offense or hold it against the persons. There is great freedom in this. You may still remember the act but pray that your heart will not hold any malice or anger when you remember it. The offender may already be living in a self-made prison of guilt and shame because of what they have done. The last thing you want to do is hold onto the keys of freedom.
“Be Still and Know…God” is a weekly publication of Joan Jackson of encouraging insight intended to enhance your walk in Christ.
Christ Our Example – In today’s society, we are encouraged to mentor or be mentored by someone we admire or would aspire to be like. These mentors are to be people of high esteem, integrity and sure be charismatic and attractive to others. For the Believer, the person we relate most to be like is the Lord Jesus Christ. God is in the business of molding and shaping us into the image of his dear son (Rom. 8:29). In our lesson this week, we will learn of several characters of or Lord that we should mature into
Humility – a modest or respectable view of one’s own importance, humble
Selfless – one who is more concerned with the needs of others than their own self.
Esteeming Others – to respect, admire others
These are attributes that will be exemplified or manifested in our life when we are determined through obedience to be like of Savior. Christ is every way was perfect and had no faults (1 Pet. 2:22, Heb. 4:15). Let study to show ourselves approved of God and grow into being like Christ, our example.