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Forgiveness

Posted by Rick on September 10, 2007

Last night, I spoke about the Fifth Commandment, “Honor your Father and your Mother”.  The last point of the sermon was on forgiveness.  I said that “Forgiveness is not a feeling.  Forgiveness is a choice to NOT hold on to anger or the desire for revenge.”  This, of course, was in the context of honoring your parents by forgiving their failings.

To be able to forgive your parents, or anyone else really, should not be dependent on their apology.  What if they never apologize?  What if they aren’t sorry?  Does that mean you will never forgive? 

Make your forgiveness proactive.  Sometimes, you need to address the problem by stating that you forgive the person, even when no apology is expected or rendered.  Perhaps they are desiring reconciliation, but are too humiliated or embarassed to offer an apology or ask for forgiveness.

Consider Matthew 18:21-35:

 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ “So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. “Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” (NASB)

Go ahead.  Give up your “right” to be angry.  Give up your “right” to hold a grudge.  You have been forgiven much; how then can you not forgive?

Bro. Rick

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2 Responses to “Forgiveness”

  1. Kyle said

    Matthew 18:15-20
    15. “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
    16. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
    17. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    18. “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
    19. “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
    20. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

  2. So True. Forgiveness is not a feeling.

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