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The Process Of Forgiveness Ps.1130

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THE PROCESS OF FORGIVENESS

PS.130

INTRO: IT IS SAID WHEN A FRIEND MAKES A MISTAKE DON’T RUB IT IN—RUB IT OUT. WE LIVE IN WORLD OF BORKEN RELATIONSHIPS—BORKEN HEARTS—BROKEN PROMISES & BROKEN PEOPLE. (EX: DR. CRONIN WAS DR. IN ENGLAND—HE TELLS STORY OF YOUNG NURSE PUT IN CHARGE OF LITTLE BOY SUFFERING FROM DIPTHERIA.  HIS THROAT WAS CHOKED WITH MEMBRANE—GIVEN ONLY SLIGHT CHANCE TO LIVE. A TUBE WAS INSERTED TO HELP HIM BREATHE. THE NURSE’S JOB WAS TO CLEAN THE TUBE SO IT WOULD NOT GET BLOCKED, CUTTING OFF HIS BREATHING. AS SHE SAT BESIDE THE BOY SHE DOZED OFF—SHE AWOKE TO FIND THE TUBE WAS BLOCKED. SHE PANICKED & CALLED THE DR.—BY TIME DR. GOT TO THE BOY HE WAS ALREADY DEAD—THE DR. WAS ANGRY—INEXCUSABLE NEGLIGENCE! HE WENT TO HIS OFFICE &WROTE A LETTER DEMANDING HER IMMEDIATE REMOVAL. HE CALLED HER IN & READ IT TO HER. SHE WAS OVERWHELMED WITH SHAME. HAVE YOU NOTHING TO SAY?, ASKED THE DR.—SHE COULD ONLY SAY “GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE”  THE DR. WAS SHOCKED.  WHEN THE DR. WENT TO BED THAT NIGHT HE COULDN’T SLEEP—HE KEPT HEARING THE WORDS “FORGIVE US OUT TRESTASSES” –THE NEXT MORNING DR. CRONIN TORE UP THE REPORT. IN THE FOLLOWING YRS THIS NURSE BECAME HEAD OF LARGE HOSPITAL AND ONE OF MOST HONORED NURSES IN ENGLAND)

GENUINE FORGIVENESS IS RARE—WE DON’T OFTEN HEAR ABOUT IT OR SEE IT PRACTICED. FORGIVENESS IS COSTLY. THE ONE WHO FORGIVES PAYS A PRICE. THE CROSS REMINDS HOW HARD & COSTLY FORGIVENESS WAS FOR GOD—JESUS’ BODY & BLOOD GIVEN FOR US.  THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO FORGIVE BUT THE MAIN ONE IS TO GLORIFY GOD AND REVEAL HIS CHARACTER TO A MOSTLY UNFORGIVING WORLD.

HOW CAN I FORGIVE?

I.                  WITH  UNDERSTANDING

A.   A HEART OF COMPASSION—COL. 3:12-14—FORGIVENESS REQUIRES COMPASSION/KINDNESS/HUMILITY—IT IS FRUIT OF SPIRIT AT WORK IN OUR LIVES. WE MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO UNRAVEL WHY ANOTHER PERSON HURT US. WE CAN ONLY TRY TO SEE THINGS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE & BE SENSITIVE TO THEM EVEN IF IT SEEMS WRONG OR TRIVIAL TO US.  THAT TAKES A LOT OF PATIENCE AND MUCH PRAYER. NO WE WILL FULLY UNDERSTAND  WHY SOMEONE CHOOSES TO HURT ANOTHER—(EX: HOW COULD A PARENT SPANK HIS 2 YR OLD TO DEATH—A CHILD SHOOTING ANOTHER CHILD—A DOCTOR KILLING A BABY IN MOTHER’S WOMB—SEXUAL ASSAULT—A 24 YR OLD MOTHER STRANGLING HER 6 CHILDREN—A FRIEND BETRAY ANOTHER FRIEND--WE MAY FIND SOME REASONS BUT OUR REAL HOPE REMAINS IN THE LORD (V.7). ONLY IN CHRIST CAN WE FIND REDEMPTION/HEALING

II.               WITH HUMILITY

A.   MOSES (NUM. 12:1-3; 9-13)  MOSES HAD GREAT ABILITY TO FORGIVE. HE HAD TO DEAL WITH A STIFFNECKED/STUBBORN PEOPLE—AND HE EVEN GOT ATTACKED FROM HIS OWN FAMILY.  NOW SOME OF US MIGHT BE PLEASED MIRIAM GOT LEPROSY BUT MOSES CRIED OUT TO GOD—“PLEASE HEAL HER”—MOSES GREW IN HUMILITY—VERY AWARE OF HIS OWN WEAKNESSES—HE TOOK A MAN’S LIFE IN ANGER & GOD DISCIPLINED HIM BEFORE HE CALLED HIM AND USED HIM FOR HIS GLORY.  MANY TIMES THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO OUR FORGIVING IS OUR PRIDE. WE ARE AFRAID TO BE VULNERABLE—DON’T WANT OTHERS TO KNOW OUR HURT. THIS IS WHERE AS CHRISTIANS WE ARE TO BE DISCERNING/SENSITIVE –AND EVEN BE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS TO BRING HEALING/RESTORATION  (GAL. 6:1,2)—BARANBAS MADE EFFORT TO REACH OUT TO PAUL WHEN OTHERS WERE SKEPTICAL.  THIS WILL TAKE PRAYER & WORK OF HOLY SPIRIT  (EX: GENERAL LEE AND THE TREE) SO WE NEED TO DO THIS IS OUR MARRIAGES—SPOUSES/CHILDREN/CO-WORKERS/CHURCH FAMILY. CLAIMING TO BE MATURE & YET BE UNFORGIVING IS SPIRITUAL OXYMORON.  FORGIVENESS IS UNDSERVED PARDON—IT SHOWS THE VALUE WE PLACE ON THE OTHER PERSON JUST AS GOD PLACED ETERNAL VALUE ON US THROUGH JESUS. IN THE UPPER ROOM JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT HUMILITY/SERVANTHOOD. WHILE THEY ARGUED OVER POSITIONS—JESUS GOT WATER & TOWEL AND WASHED FEET.

 

III.           WITH TIME  (EPH. 4:31,32)

A.   FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY—FORGIVENESS SHOULD COME WHEN THE HURT HAPPENS—THOUGH IT MAY NOT BE COMPLETE—IT CANT BE HELD BACK UNTIL ITS DESERVED. ALSO ITS CHEAPER/HEALTHIER TO FORGIVE THAN HOLD ONTO RESENTMENT/ANGER—IT DECREASES ANXIETY/LESSENS DEPRESSION/LOWERS STRRESS/IMPORVES GRIEF RECOVERY/INCREASES CAPACITY TO LOVE—FORGIVE BEFORE THE BITTERNESS SETS IN AND THE MOLEHILL BECOMES A MT. YES YOU MAY STILL FEEL DEEP EMOTIONS OVER THE EVENT BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DIFFUSE IT AND NOT LIVE UNDER ITS POWER—“DON’T LET SUN GO DOWN ON YOUR ANGER”  YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO LIKE THE PERSON WHO HURT YOU OR WISH THEM WELL BUT IF YOU NURSE THE HURT THE HARDER IT WILL BE TO RECONCILE.  GET THE PROCESS STARTED EVEN IF THE EMOTIONS ARENT THERE. FOGIVENESS BEGINS WITH THE WILL & EMOTIONS FOLLOW. FOR SOME A ONE TIME DECISION TO FORGIVE IS ENOUGH—BUT FOR MOST OF US IT IS THE STRAT OF A PROCESS.  (EX: MISS. CAME TO LABRADOR THEY COULDN’T FIND A WORD FOR FORGIVNESS IN ESKIMO LANGUAGE SO THEY MADE UP ONE THAT MEANT “NOT BEIGN ABLE TO THINK ABOUT IT ANYMORE”) FORGIVENESS IS LIKE RAKING LEAVES IN FALL—YOU MAY HAVE TO DO IT SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE ALL THE LEAVES ARE OFF THE TREES. 

B.   WHAT FORGIVENSS IS NOT

1.     IT IS NOT CONDONING OR DISMISSING THE OFFENSE AS IF IT DIDN’T HURT OR WAS INSIGNIFICANT

2.     IT IS NOT PARDONING A CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST YOU. THIS IS A LEGAL MATTER

3.     IT IS NOT RECONCILIATION—BUT IT IS SHOWING THE WILLINGNESS TO RECONCILE WHEN POSSIBLE. THE OFFENDER MAY NOT WANT OR BE AVAILABLE FOR RECONCILIATION.

C.   WHAT FORGIVENESS INCLUDES

1.     IT IS A CHOICE—NOT AUTOMATIC

2.     IT IS RELEASING THE DESIRE TO HURT OR TAKE VENGENCE ON THE OFFENDER (ROM.12:17-19)

3.     IT WISHES GOOD FOR THE OTHER PERSON

4.     IT PRAYS FOR & NOT PREY UPON THE OTHER PERSON

5.     IT DOES GOOD FOR THE OTHER PERSON WHEN THERE IS OPPORTUNIT TO DO SO (MATT. 5:43-48)

CONCLUSION:  (EX: FORIGVENESS BY ISRAELI WIDOW 

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