Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Here are some words of wisdom from Charles Spurgeon for you:

“He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows His God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case…When our virtues become more mature,…we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.” -Spurgeon

These words are kind of like a short sermon from Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ sake hath forgiven you.”


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Here’s a song I’ve just become familiar with….I hope it’s a blessing to you!

Happy New Year!


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“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Why is forgetting the past so hard to do?  I’m not sure.  Sometimes I think the memories are all gone, that it doesn’t bother me anymore.  Then satan likes to put those little thoughts into our minds…..

“God can’t use you in that way.”

  “You’ll never be good enough.”

 “After what you did?

I’ve had to learn a hard lesson……Don’t dwell on the past.   When you dwell on the past, it’s never really your past life, is it?  When you continually think about something, it becomes your world, your reality.  Satan knows this, and likes nothing better than to throw things up in our faces to discourage us, and to keep us from doing what we should be doing for God.

So many of our heroes in the Bible had a “past” 

Moses killed an Egyptian man, but God used him to lead the Children of Israel.

David committed adultery, yet he was a man after God’s own heart and God used him to write most of the Psalms.

Paul persecuted the church and killed Christians before he was saved.

There are so many other examples in the Bible, but the point I’m trying to make is that, we are all human.  None of us are without sin, but there’s not a sin that God can’t forgive.  When we sin, (no matter how big or how small we think the sin is.) and ask God’s forgiveness, He forgives us of that sin and still uses us for His glory.

Here is a song entitled “Rise Up Again”  (sorry, but I can’t find a video of it or I’d include the link.)

Rise Up Again

Though sin has beset you and taken control,
Though Satan’s great strongholds stand fast in your soul,
What ever your failure, though great be your fall,
God’s mercy and pardon are offered to all.

Rise up again, take back the ground.
Turn from your sin and let grace abound.
Press toward the prize; the victory you”ll will.
Forget things behind you and rise up again.

Let’s seek those who’ve fallen from grace to restore
and show them God’s mercies forever endure.
In spite of our past our Lord uses us still,
and works it for good in the course of His will.

Rise up again, take back the ground.
Turn from your sin and let grace abound.
Press toward the prize; the victory you”ll will.
Forget things behind you and rise up again.

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When should you forgive someone?  When they apologize and ask for forgiveness?  When someone offends or hurts you?  What if they don’t apologize, should I still forgive them?

Forgiveness is a tough subject.  Everyone likes to be forgiven, but it’s not always easy to forgive.

I nannied for a family one summer and when their children did or said something that they needed to apologize for, they would say their apology, and instead of replying with “Oh, it’s OK” “No worries” or “that’s fine”  their sibling would say “I forgive you”  I really like that.  What a better way to start teaching children about forgiveness than to have them forgive their sibling when they apologize.  Sometimes just those words “I forgive you” are hard to say.

Some people say “I forgive you” or they talk a problem out and say that they forgave the other person but didn’t really forgive them.  The Bible says that when God forgives our sin, He forgets it.  He doesn’t hold it against us any more.  As humans, even though we forgive, we still remember, but we should try our hardest not to hold it against that person anymore.  We should show some mercy and give them another chance.  How many times should we give them another chance?  (this is tough, even for me, a person who considers themselves to be forgiving…..) Well, Christ says that we shouldn’t forgive people just 7 times, but we should forgive people until 70×7, meaning don’t keep track of the offenses, just forgive people.  But what if they did it on purpose?  What if I know they didn’t really mean it when they apologized?  What if I know they’re just going to do it again?  Well, God forgives you and I EVERY time we ask Him to, even though He knows our intents, and He knows if we will do it again, He is still there waiting to forgive us.

Do you have to wait for someone to apologize to you to forgive them?  No.  Absolutely not.  Forgiving someone is about you, not about them.  Forgiveness allows you to “get over it”  it allows you to stop harboring anger toward the person, forgiveness stops you from becoming bitter over the situation. 

One time a co-worker said something very bad  to me, that was about me, in front of other co-workers.  What my co-worker said was not true, but at the time, they believed it to be true.  What they said was very hurtful.  Two days later, she came to me and apologized for the situation and asked me to forgive her.  My response was “I already have.”  She looked at me very surprised and said, “You already forgave me?”  I said “Yes, that night when I went home, I forgave you.” 

You don’t have to wait for an apology, and if they don’t apologize, you don’t have to go to them and say “remember those bad things you said about me two days ago?  Well I forgive you for them.” 

 Not at all, all you have to do is pray about the situation and make the decision to forgive that person, whether they EVER apologize or not.  Again, when you forgive someone else, it’s for your benefit, not their benefit.

But, you don’t understand….what they did to me was hateful, cruel, immature, uncalled for, TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE……..well guess what?  It doesn’t matter.  Again, this goes back to my post on things I can and can\’t control.  Can I control the other person and the fact that they haven’t or won’t apologize to me?  No, I can’t control that.  What I can control is my attitude, my actions, and my response to the situation.  Did Christ wait for the Romans to apologize to Him for beating Him and hanging Him on the Cross?  Let me think about that…..If I recall, He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  WHILE He was on the Cross, and I don’t ever recall an apology from the Romans. 

I’ve met several people in the last few months that have treated other people poorly because of something someone else did, or because of how someone else has treated them.  If they have truly forgiven the people in their past who have hurt them, they wouldn’t be bitter over it now and taking it out on other people.  Do you see how forgiveness is about YOU?  If you don’t forgive someone, they will never know.  They won’t be hurt by it and they’ll just move on with their life, while you continue to hate them, be angry at them, and become bitter over the situation.  This can go on for YEARS and even an entire lifetime. 

God calls us to be Christlike, and part of being Christlike is forgiving, WHETHER or NOT they apologize, WHETHER or NOT they forgive you, WHETHER or NOT they do it again.

Forgiveness is a very important part of our physical and spiritual lives.  Not forgiving people can even cause health problems. 

I’ve had many people ask me how I ever got over the abuse, the hurt, the pain, the emotional and psychological scars.  I’ve had a couple of newer friends of mine ask how I became a single mom, and when I say that I was in an abusive relationship and I decided to leave rather than be murdered, their eyes bug out and they say “I had no idea.”  “I would have never guessed.”  “How are you not a basket case?” 

It has taken time.  Lots of time, and lots of prayer.  As I look back, one of the first steps toward healing was forgiveness.  I wasn’t able to forgive him right away.  It took me several weeks, it was really over a month before I could bring myself to forgive him.  Did he ever apologize?  No.  Do I ever expect him to?  No, but that doesn’t matter.  I forgave him and allowed myself to start moving on with my life. 

 So does forgiveness mean that everything is all better and I’d marry him anyway?  Absolutely not.  It just means that I am not going to become angry or bitter because of the situation.

In addition to forgiving him, I also had to forgive myself.  For the longest time, I kept asking myself  “How did I let this happen?”  “Where did I make the mistake?”  “What did I do to deserve this?”  “What did I do that caused him to abuse me?’  These are very common thoughts for a person who’s been abused.  Abusers are very good at convincing you that abuse is your fault and that you brought it on yourself.  I had to stop one day and tell myself that it didn’t matter how I let it happen or where I had made a mistake.  It happened, it’s over with, and I can’t make myself feel guilty or responsible for bringing abuse on myself. 

When you start forgiving people, I mean truly forgiving them, whether they deserve it, whether they ask for it, and no matter how many times they offend you, it helps you keep your focus on Christ and off of other people, it helps you heal, it helps you be a better person, it gives you a fresh start and most importantly, it brings you one step closer to treating people as Christ would treat them.

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