May the Lord raise us up into women (and men!) who are known for extending grace to the world. Enjoy part 2 of my notes….and again….forgive the random messyness.
Point 1: Know that forgiveness is for YOU. On many levels.
*Level 1: The obvious….He forgives you. Of it all. Yes…of it ALL. Get that.
*Level 2: It’s for your well-being. (Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually, Mentally)
– As I considered this point, I got another picture in my mind. (Sounds weird, doesn’t it?) It was of me….holding a tiny little animal. It was a gross and vile looking little thing. Yet, I was petting it, loving it, protecting it. And I understood that this nasty animals name was ‘Unforgiveness’. The problem is….this animal bites. And it bites you, not your offender.
– Sometimes we believe that holding onto unforgiveness works more to our advantage than being healed of it. But unforgiveness will NOT allow us to have the life we want.
*It will however, allow us to live a life of torment. Again, on many levels.
*Emotionally: Unforgiveness can cause bitterness, depression, anger, fear, resentment, etc
*Physically: Unforgiveness can cause high blood pressure, disease, heart problems, etc
(These ailments can derive from other sources as well – but we all too often overlook the effects of our inner turmoils on the human body.)
*Jimmy Evans quote: “The poison of unforgiveness damages the vessel it is stored in worse than anything you can spit it on. It’s killing you. The most self-loving thing you can do is forgive.”
Point 2: Know that forgiveness is for THEM. (Your offender.)
*Spurgeon quote: “He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust…he overlooks 10,000 of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks 20,000 in his own case.”
(Warning: We forgive people unfixed…before they act like they deserve to be forgiven. However, forgiving doesn’t mean we go back and expose ourselves to abuse. Sometimes, we have to forgive from afar. In edition, if you are married and experiencing any type of abuse or danger….get to safety and seek wise, godly counsel.)
*Sometimes, us forgiving them – will eventually bring them to salvation. Seeing a heart change in us – can, at times, make them seek the Heart Changer, themselves.
(The Lord’s prayer.) Notice verse 12: ‘Forgive us our debts…as we have also forgiven our debtors.’
And then notice verses 14 and 15: Look what Jesus decided to expound upon. He could have explained any part of the Lord’s prayer – but He chose to dive deeper into our topic. Forgiveness is for them…because it circles back to you. Your forgiveness, depends on your forgiveness.
* We can’t withhold grace from others and get it from God. Life without grace from God is torment. (See emotional and physical ailments mentioned in Point 1.)
Point 3: Know that forgiveness is FROM HIM.
* We have a tendency to think, “if only my offender would show true repentence….then I could fully forgive.” Or sometimes we think, “If only I could give them a piece of my mind…then I could fully forgive.” Both…are lies. The sting of what our offenders have done to us – will usually overpower their remorse (or your revenge) for it. Our offender, no matter what, can’t make us forgive from the heart. The only way to reap a harvest of forgiveness is by His power alone.
*Revisit Chapter 10 of Hosea. The whole chapter is about the Lord’s people having false hearts…having thorns and thistles in their fallow ground. Verse 12… is God’s perscription for His people. It’s His council for those with hard hearts.
* He is capable. He is capable of healing our hearts, of helping us extend forgiveness to those who don’t deserve it, of breaking up our hard ground and reaping a harvest of forgiveness in us. US….broken, wounded, afflicted, tainted women like you and me.
I closed with some stories. And then we offered prayer during worship.
I truly enjoyed delving into this topic with the ladies of my church. It’s an honor to serve them through our women’s ministry. May He spur us onward in faith and in forgiveness. Blessings and love to you all 🙂