Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Stacked Forgiveness

As I've mentioned before, I really don't like to re-preach my Sunday lesson on my blog, but since our web page is under construction and the online lessons aren't available, AND I truly feel these points are important and need to be remembered by every child of God - I want to share them with those of you who would appreciate them. Wow! Was that a long sentence or what?
The lesson was about forgiveness, and these points to remember are about understanding the nature of forgiveness. It's vital for at least two reasons: One, forgiveness is an integral part of God's love, and two, ignoring or forgetting about forgiveness may be the single biggest obstacle to our walk with God. Forgiven people forgive people! Our love for God IS our awareness of what being forgiven by him means. (See 2 Pet.1:3-10 & Rom.8:1)
Here is a stacking system that I came up with to help me remember these points about forgiveness. Maybe they will be of help to you too.
Visualize the scales of Justice - then on top of that visualize a band aid - on top of that a broken heart - on top of that a Cross - on top of that a red traffic light - and the last thing is a clean slate (a clean black board). Picture this stack in your head. Now, what do they stand for?
1. The scales of Justice = Forgiveness doesn't remove guilt! When you forgive, you don't let anyone off the hook, you're refusing to let what they did make you bitter. Bitterness doesn't punish anyone but you and those you love.
2. The band aid = Forgiveness doesn't remove hurt! That's not the point of doing it - though it does begin the process. Jesus forgave while still on the cross - the hurt didn't stop.
3. The broken heart = Forgiveness doesn't heal relationships! It makes it possible if the goal is reconciliation, but THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT FORGIVENESS THAT MEANS YOU MUST HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ONE FORGIVEN. Trust takes time and track record to rebuild - and a desire to rebuild it.
4. The Cross = Forgiveness has nothing to do with deserving it, but everything to do with grace! Needs no explanation!
5. The red traffic light = Forgiveness is essential to our forgiveness. STOP - when you feel tempted to not forgive! We are only forgiven if we forgive! Grace is given to be given!
6. The clean slate = Forgiveness is an essential part of love! Our sins are forgiven (clean slate) because God loved us so much he sent Jesus to died for us. We must have the same kind of love.
Maybe if we can remember these, it will help us be a little quicker to forgive instead of looking for a rationale to hang on to anger, bitterness, and malice.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Eph.4:32

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! I really needed that. SH