FORGIVENESS OUR ESSENTIAL DIRECTIVE
Week One of Four
1)Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as “to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt. To give up resentment against or the desire to punish.”
2)Forgiveness may be granted without any expectation of restorative justice, and without any response on the part of the offender (for example, one may forgive a person who is incommunicado or dead). In practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe himself able to forgive.
3)Forgiveness is the act of untying yourself from the thoughts or feelings that bind you to the offense committed against you.
Matthew 18:21-35 emphasis v 35, and in the amplified version: v 21 “and let it go”
We are warned again & again & AGAIN, that if we don’t forgive, we are reaping what we’re sowing. And it can lead to hatred, compounding the entire sinful condition of the soul. So why is it so hard to do?
Entitlement. That sinister, slithering, rising of self. I am entitled to an apology. I am entitled to defend myself against that slanderous thing they said. I am entitled to justice. I am entitled to have this wrong righted. All our lives we are taught to defend our individual RIGHTS.
Here’s a verse to memorize, it’s not long:
Matthew 6 v14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. v15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Re-read those two verses. These are strong words of warning! Jesus is all about the heart.
Pressing Toward the Goal:
Philippians 3:12-16 Here the imagery is that of a runner on the course straining every muscle as he runs toward the goal, his hand stretched out to grasp it. Forget the past and reach for those things still ahead. Earnestly pursue the goal of the heavenly call of God in Christ. Seek to know Him. Recognize that wholehearted, focused pursuit of Jesus is a mark of mature Christianity and devotion.
Please read through the above verses a few times, taking your time, noting any adjustments or steps you will be taking.