Presentation on theme: "Forgiving each other. The Challenge and Art of Forgiving. – Biblical basis – Guidance of Jesus – Basis of salvation A practical example – Joseph Putting."— Presentation transcript:
Forgiving each other. The Challenge and Art of Forgiving. – Biblical basis – Guidance of Jesus – Basis of salvation A practical example – Joseph Putting forgiving into practice.
Forgiving each other. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His grace toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Like a father has compassion on His children, so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows how we are made, He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103: 10 - 14
Forgiving each other. Jesus said: Even before you ask Him, your Father knows what things you need. In this manner you should pray: Our Father who is in heaven, let Your Name be glorified. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6: 8 – 15
Forgiving each other. Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but as the need arises, speak that which is good for encouragement, that it expresses grace to those that hear you. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by which you were sealed until the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and railing be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to each other, sensitive, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ also forgave you. Ephesians 4: 29-32
Forgiving each other. And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them. For they do not know what they do. Luke 23: 33 - 34
Forgiving each other. Biblical meaning. Greek word for ‘forgive‘ is aphesis = a sending away, total dismissal..
Forgiving each other. Then Jesus took a deep breath and breathed on them. ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’ he said. ‘If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?’ John 20: 22 – 23. The Message.
Forgiving each other. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him. They sent a message to Joseph, saying, Your father commanded before he died, saying, ‘You shall tell Joseph, Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you’. Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the God of your father. Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Forgiving each other. His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are your servants. Joseph said to them, Don’t be afraid, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore don’t be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones. He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50: 15 - 21
Forgiving each other. Practical point 1. Forgiving someone can be a long process.
Forgiving each other. Practical point 2. Forgiveness is not dependent on confession.
Forgiving each other. Practical point 3. Forgiveness does not require an agreed version of the facts.
Forgiving each other. Practical point 4. Forgiveness means letting go of my natural desire to retaliate (revenge)
Forgiving each other. Practical point 5. Forgiving does not mean forgetting.
Forgiving each other. Practical point 6. Forgiveness means to stop digging it up again and again.
Forgiving each other. Practical point 7. Forgiving is not primarily a statement about what I feel about the other person. It is a statement of my choice to set aside the wrong that was done and not bring it up again
Forgiving each other. Practical point 8. Excusing the behaviour is not the same as forgiving
Forgiving each other. Practical point 9. Forgiving is easier when we rest in God’s care
Forgiving each other. Practical point 10. Forgiveness is incomplete until love replaces anger
Forgiving each other. Forgiving is good for me.
Forgiving each other. Forgiving is good for me. When I learn to forgive I am following the example of Jesus. I find peace of mind. It is essential for my salvation. It is only when I know the pain involved that I understand what Jesus and God have done for me. "It is in forgiving that I am forgiven."
Forgiving each other. Putting it into practice. Internal aspects of forgiving: – What I can do? – What I choose to do. – Within my control. – What Jesus commands me to do. Sometimes called the ‘private’ aspect of forgiving.
Forgiving each other. Forgiving is good for the other person. When I forgive, we begin to communicate again - we understand each other better. He/she may realise the true effect of their actions. Hopefully they will come closer to God. Hopefully they appreciate the cost of being forgiven Hopefully we can create a better relationship for the future
Forgiving each other. Putting it into practice External aspect of forgiving: – Involves the other person. – Not entirely within our control: partly depends on the other person. – May not be possible. Sometimes called the ‘public’ aspect of forgiving.
Forgiving each other. Putting it into practice. Our attitude of mind: To choose to forgive is a statement of intention, rather than a reflection on our feelings. Sets the direction for our lives, our thoughts and possible actions.
Forgiving each other. Benefits when we forgive. To forgive frees us to go forward in life. We are not bound by the need to hate / exact revenge. We can grieve over what is lost and begin to build a new life. We may be able to be find reconciliation and have a new and better relationship.
Forgiving each other. The things that inhibit us from forgiving. Fear that it will continue Our desire to see justice done now (on our terms) Our pride Believing that you must: – forget in order to forgive – trust again in order to forgive.
Forgiving each other. Divide the whole job of forgiving. Many people are inhibited from starting to forgive by thinking it all has to be done at once. Think of it, instead, as a process with separate steps.
Forgiving each other. Seeing the world as God sees it. We see others as weak and in need of God’s grace Others do not behave towards us in love because they do not have the love of God and Jesus in their hearts.
Forgiving each other. Seeing the world as God sees it. We react as those who hold the precious gospel of grace. Our example in forgiving others shows the love of God to them. They are confronted, not with revenge but with our love.
Forgiving each other. Entering into the mind of God and Christ. As we struggle with the task of forgiving those around us, we begin to understand a little of what God and Jesus Christ have done for us; to understand a bit better the cost Jesus paid on the cross. The value of prayer and reading. Communicating with God and Jesus.
Forgiving each other. A recipe for forgiving. Therefore I urge you brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your logical service. And do not conform to the mould of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may experience what is the good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.
Forgiving each other. And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, He that shows mercy, (let him do so) with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Bless them that persecute you; bless and curse not.
Forgiving each other. Render to no one evil for evil. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written: Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
Forgiving each other. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12.
Practising forgiving What needs to be forgiven? Personal Deep Without excuse
Practising forgiving What needs to be forgiven? Disloyalty Betrayal Brutality
Practising forgiving Valid Excuses – The person is not responsible (age or mental health) – There may be justification (no malice intended) – An unfortunate outcome, unforeseen consequences... an accident Need to reflect first to see if there is a valid excuse
Practising forgiving Invalid Excuses Examples: – Self-justification by perpetrator. (‘I didn’t mean to hurt him.’ or ‘She deserved it.’) – Cover-up by victim (Lies or ‘I deserved it.’ etc) – Evading the need to challenge. (‘He had a poor childhood.’ ‘He can’t help himself.’) Responsible people must be held accountable for their actions.
Practising forgiving Facing the facts. First it is necessary to accept the truth of what has happened. Secondly, it is helpful to recognise that we are hurting, have suffered loss. Thirdly it may be necessary to state the facts. Example: Joseph: ‘As for you, you meant evil against me.......’
Practising forgiving Counselling. It may be wise to obtain help to discuss personal issues, and the effect it has had on our life and faith. Needs a wise and faithful friend – someone who understands the Christian perspective of the need to forgive.
Practising forgiving Choosing what we think about. It is within our control to decide what we will spend out time thinking about. We can choose: To pray To read encouragement from the Bible To think about Jesus: how he handled his life
Practising forgiving Statement of intention. When we say we are going to forgive it is a statement of our intention. It is not a statement of how we are feeling. It does not mean that it will be finished quickly.
Practising forgiving Statement of intention. The willingness to communicate when in pain
Practising forgiving Repentance. Does repentance come before forgiving? Consider if the other person: has died is unknown denies any wrong-doing How long will you wait until you start to forgive?
Practising forgiving Repentance. Is the repentance sincere? How can we judge? How long will we wait? Are we just deferring our decision to forgive? Parable of the forgiving father (the Prodigal son). Luke 15: 11-24
Practising forgiving Vengeance / Retaliation. Probably the opposite of forgiving. Consequences: Feuds, over-reaction, hatred, bitterness. We are invited to leave revenge to God who can judge properly the correct action: ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ Deut 32:35, Romans 12:19
Practising forgiving Sins of corporate bodies, governments and authorities. Unlikely to be any external aspect of forgiving. Need to focus on the internal aspects – that is – the damage it will do to us if we retain our hatred, bitterness and pain.
Practising forgiving Reconciliation. This will depend on the other party – as well as ourselves. Things will not be the same as they were before. Could be the start of a better relationship. Consider our own lives before God: before and after receiving His grace.
Practising forgiving Retrusting. Trust has been broken and needs to be rebuilt. BUT It depends on the performance of the other person. Trust is something that has to be earned. You need to be satisfied that the other person has earned your trust first.
Practising forgiving Mediation. It may be helpful to obtain help from someone to act as a go-between. It can be difficult to approach the person alone.
Practising forgiving Tolerance To forgive a person does not mean tolerating bad behaviour. Society has limits. I may forgive someone, but it does not mean that I have to live with continuing bad behaviour.
Practising forgiving Justice. How does forgiving a person fit in with justice? If the law is broken, then there must be a consequence. Personally though we should choose not to hold any malice against the individual.
Practising forgiving Reparation for loss. Not unreasonable to expect recompense if damage has been suffered. However, should be just and in keeping with the loss. See Exodus 21: a method of evaluating loss at the time of Moses.
Practising forgiving The power of testimonies. Tell your own story Or Tell the story of someone else you know Or Read about others who have forgiven. Perhaps only those who have practised the difficult art of forgiving are really qualified to teach others.
Practising forgiving The appeal. It is always useful to stop and think. Do we have anything to forgive? Are we walking on the road of forgiving? Is there anything we need to do?
Receiving grace: practising grace Out of the depths I have cried to You, Yahweh. Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions. If You, Yahweh, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, therefore You are feared. I wait for Yahweh. My soul waits. I hope in His word Psalm 130
Receiving grace: practising grace As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us. Psalm 103 : 8-14
Receiving grace: practising grace Therefore, be it known to you, brothers, that through this man (Jesus) is proclaimed to you the remission of sins. Acts 13 : 38
Receiving grace: practising grace Jesus said: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Receiving grace: practising grace Make me a channel of your peace Where there is hatred let me bring your love Where there is injury your pardon Lord And where there's doubt, true faith in you. Oh Master grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console To be understood as to understand To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Receiving grace: practising grace Make me a channel of your peace Where's there's despair in life let me bring hope Where there is darkness, only light And where there's sadness ever joy Make me a channel of your peace It is in forgiving that we are forgiven In giving of ourselves that we receive And in dying that we're born to eternal life Based on the prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Source material. Forgive and forget. Lewis Smedes. 1984 Good analysis. The first major work on the subject! Total Forgiveness. R T Kendall. An evangelical Christian approach. 1 st chapter very helpful on the practical steps we can take. Finding Forgiveness. McManus and Thornton. Pastoral. Different perspectives included. DVD. Talking about Forgiveness. Also a 28 devotional guide through Forgiveness in the Bible which some may find helpful. Produced by Damaris Trust. www.damaris.org/cm/shop/browse/?cid=24