Forgiveness....(excerpt from Dr. Gary Chapman)

The question:  Who is our model? The answer:  God

Scripture:  Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 John 1:9

What is forgiveness?  To pardon or to take away.  Psalms 103:12 states, "as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."  Note:  Forgiveness is a godly response to pray.

What forgiveness does not do:

1) Does not destroy our memory

2) Does not remove all painful emotions (What do you do with memory and pain - take it to God)

3) Does not remove all the consequences of Sin (references to Moses & David)

4) Does not rebuild trust.  (Note:  To rebuild make your life an open book (have accountability in every aspect of your life)

5) Does not always result in reconciliation

What if the person who sinned against you does not speak your apology language?

-By making you question their sincerity

-By faith, you choose to forgive them

What if the person does not apologize?

1) We lovingly confront them (Scripture Mathew 18:15-17; Luke 17:3-4)

2) We release the person to God (give it to God) (Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:14-15; 1 Timothy 2)

3) We pray for them and stand ready to forgive them (Scripture: Luke 23:34; Acts 2: 22-31)

4) We return good for evil (Scripture:  Romans 12:19-21)

We make forgiveness a priority in our lives by making it personal:

1) Whom do I need to forgive?

2) Whom do I need to lovingly confront

3) Whom do I need to release to God?

4) Whom do I need to apologize to?

Take a self exam for items 1 through 4:

 

•1 John 1:5 Walking in the light "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all."
•If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet we walk in the darkness, then we lie and do not live by the truth."

How honest do you want to be?

Dante