Thursday, January 25, 2007

The art of forgiveness.

The Bible is a wonderful book; it’s a collection of writings that truly span the existence of man on this earth.

For as much guidance it gives me it is a conundrum for application. What I’ve found is that the Bible tends to share the spotlight in the phrase “easier said than done”. Then again…

Some recent events which bare no further explanation (so don’t ask) have tested this hypothesis. What I’ve found is that the less significant the situation the harder it has been for me to follow the seventy times seven example of forgiveness.

I’ve always questioned the application over the ability of being able to forgive someone no matter the situation because there should be no way I can hold some something over anyone else’s head when my example for forgiveness life has forgiven me for everything I’ve done.

It’s most practical application to me comes in the parable of the king who forgave his slaves debts. One slave then forgave those who owed him and the other slave refused to forgive his friends debt, reaping punishment upon himself.

This should be my example for living. I’ve encountered dozens of situations in my life since I sort of reexamined things about two years ago and have had no desire or means to apply this teaching because I’ve always been right in my assessment of the situation, no matter what.

What would stick out to me was the idea that I was wronged and there should be some sort of residual retribution made to me before I forgive anyone. My point must be made and accepted, then and only then will I bestow upon you the gift of my forgiveness. This is not how it should work.

What I’ve figured out is that when the pressure is on and you’re really digging deep for some sort of divine guidance application is a matter of asking. Humility and pride must be adjusted into submission and your heart must be placed in a sort of cruise control beyond active thought. After that everything else is easy.

I think the key to things like this is to actually and completely believe that’s what God wants to help you do. When you sincerely ask you shall completely receive.


Jamison said...

I almost want to sum up your blog as "Forgiveness; easier said than done."?

I dont get too emotional when I read the Bible, sometimes I do, but not often enough.

However, I shed a few tears of joy when I was reading where Jesus told that girl 2 sentences that are short, yet super-powerful:

"Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more."

I almost think he said this casually, or even in a "I know you will let me down again" sort of way, yet still with love...

Go and sin no more??? Jesus knows NO ONE can "Sin no more!" yet, that's his advice... and guess what, when you break that command, he says it again; "Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more."

I cried because I am so undeserving of that phrase being said to me.

bigsip said...

I think that when Jesus said that phrase to that woman, he was probably referring to the particular sin she had committed. He was essentially telling her, "Repent."

Repentence simply means to make a conscious decision to not commit a sin anymore, in her case, adultery.

Hopefully, when we forgive, the offending person sees the unconditional and magnificent love we give and truly repents or turns from that offense or sin.

Of course, confessing that sin and asking for help is good, too. But, overall, the first decision must be to repent. Then life moves on again...

Brewster said...

I often find that when I screw up, I expect that forgiveness immediately. As if my faults aren't that big a deal - for everyone has faults, right? Yet when someone else screws up I want to lay a lot of blame and wait a long time before I look to forgive.

True forgiveness is really hard, even in marriage. Manys the time I have "forgiven" Amy for something, only to drag it up again sometime later. That's the great thing about God, once He forgives its like it never happened.

Jamison said...

and yet, we still remember our faults and beat ourselves up for our past... do you think that is us? Or a creation of Satan to bring us down?

Brewster said...

Man, I don't know. Some of it is conditioning, some ingrained, and yeah, Satan probably has a finger in there too.

Yet it seems like in so many churches, preaching on forgiveness and grace will get grumbles.

I remember hearing President Hilyer preach one time on grace and his point was basically he'd preach grace until he died. That you really can't preach on that point enough. True dat.

mullinz8 said...

I’ve yet to do the research on the Biblical example of forgetting. Forgiving is one thing and forgetting is something completely different.

I don’t know if you can ever forget some sort of major event but I know that faithful discipline eventually cultivates the ability to not drag said situation into the light whenever something crappy happens.

Perhaps true forgiveness happens when you have the ability to move past what ever caused the riff in the first place.

The one thing I do know about forgiveness is that it takes time to truly understand and appreciate.

bigsip said...

We talked about Repentence and Confession in the men's class at church last Wed.

My thought was that our journey to forgiveness is set up by God to be a spiritually and psychologically significant ride.

When we realize that we have been doing wrong, we make a decision to either kep doing wrong or turn from the wrong and do right and thereby repent.

Confession is for us, too. When we confess, not just to God but to other Christians, we should say DIRECTLY "Please help me and be there for me so I don't slip back into this!"

The church and our friendships as Christians should be one big support group/family. I'm afraid that pride too often gets in the way of that happening on the repenant side and forgiver side.

I don't think the point is so much to "forgive and forget" for humans. Only God can "blot out our sins" But, we can search, learn, and grow to the point where love makes the past dormant and only enlivens the present.