26/09/2018: Forgiveness 7 x 7 x 77 | Colleen Stringer
Reading2: Genesis 50:15-19 NIV: Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brother’s the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?
Matthew 18: 21-22NIV: Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
John 20: 22-23NKJV: And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Here are 7 things forgiveness IS NOT: (Ron Edmondson)
When you forgive someone your memory isn’t suddenly wiped clean of the offense. My suspicion is God wants forgiveness to be more intentional than this.
- Regaining automatic trust
You don’t immediately begin to trust the person who injured you when you forgive them. And, if you think about it, that wouldn’t be logical. Trust is earned, and the person who wronged us must earn trust again. (Joseph)
- Removal of consequences
Even though you forgive someone, they may still have consequences to face because of their actions.
- Ignoring the offense
You don’t have to pretend nothing happened when you forgive. The reality is an offense was made. Acting like it never occurred only builds resentment and anger.
- Instant emotional healing
Emotions heal with time. Some pain runs deep and takes longer to heal. Emotions are not something you can simply choose to control. Ps 23 He restores…as I walk
- Restoring the same relationship
The relationship may be closer than before, but it might not be. One thing is fairly certain – most likely the relationship will never be exactly the same.
- A leverage of power
This is huge: Granting forgiveness does not give a person power over the person being forgiven. That would violate the entire principle and purpose of forgiveness.
Here are 7 things that forgiveness IS:
- A choice
Granted – it’s a very difficult choice. Forgiveness is never easy. And, the deeper and more frequent the wounds were, the harder the choice is to make.
ROB=root of bitterness Heb 12:15 cause trouble
- Letting go of a right to get even
This is a hard one. You give up the right for revenge when you forgive someone. “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”” (Romans 12:19 MSG)
- Moving forward: Hebrews 12:1
Forgiveness is like saying, “It hurt. I didn’t like it, but I’m moving forward with my life in spite of the pain.” “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,” 4. 4. 4. Dropping resentment and grudge
Forgiveness releases the angst towards the person who did the injury. One definition of forgiveness – knowing you really have forgiven someone – is what happens when the person comes to your mind again. If the pain they caused is still the first thought you have about them, pray for them…process…time at the cross.
- A step towards healing
Again, forgiveness releases a weight from the injured, which opens the door for emotions to eventually heal. And, it does take time.
- An opportunity to display grace
There is no greater picture of God’s forgiveness to others than for us to forgive one another. “bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
- The removal of a roadblock; Forgiveness removes the barrier between us and living at peace again with ourselves, others, and God. “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)