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April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

"What Forgiveness Really Is"

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Luke 23: 34a NIV

Now that you’ve come to church and celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord, it’s time to focus on His greatest gift to us, forgiveness of sins.  

Forgiveness may be one of the most misunderstood, misapplied and misused qualities in our culture.  We think we know about it but we really don’t.  

Before reading any further, take a minute to take this little quiz by answering if each statement is true or false.

1.  A person should not be forgiven until he asks for it.

2.  Forgiving includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused.

3.  Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship.

4.  You haven’t really forgiven until you’ve forgotten the offense.

5.  When you see somebody who hurt you it is your duty to forgive the offender.

If you said all of them are false you’re correct according to the Bible.  In the next few days we’ll talk a lot more about forgiveness.

First, real forgiveness is unconditional.  There are no attachments to it.  We don’t earn it, deserve it or can bargain for it.  

Just look at what Jesus said on the cross to understand that.  He was forgiving the very people who were crucifying them.  They hadn’t asked for it, they didn’t deserve it, yet He offered it to them.  

Second, forgiveness isn’t minimizing the seriousness of the offense.  Forgiveness is really only for the big stuff, the stuff that really was a big deal.  You should not minimize it when someone asks you for forgiveness.  

There is a difference between being wounded or being wronged.  Being wounded requires patience and acceptance not forgiveness, because the person did it unintentionally.  Being wronged requires forgiveness.  It is  intentional.

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don