My Own Prison

2nd look- 4.18.16
Hi everybody and welcome to the 2nd look!

I wanted to start this 2nd look by showing you a recent news editorial I found to be quite inspiring. It’s a story of forgiveness.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/on-the-road-innocent-michigan-man-ends-up-working-alongside-crooked-cop-that-locked-him/

As you consider this story and our sermon this past weekend, I’d like to add some quick practical things to keep in mind when it comes to forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness is a process… It may take time- sometimes you will need to forgive over and over again. That is normal. The biggest thing is when our hearts want to resume the resentment (and who knows why this happens but sometimes it takes a while to let things go), we need to be reminded we cancelled the debt this person owes us- we have wiped the slate clean- they are forgiven… It can take awhile for some things, but this process is worth it in the long run.
  • Following God’s example is truly helpful… When wondering how to forgive- God’s example we looked at in yesterday’s sermon is truly helpful. Spend time in Ephesians 2:1-10 this week to be reminded of this. Here’s a quick recap of God’s approach for forgiveness:
  • God embraces the truth of what has happened. God doesn’t ignore that he’s been sinned against, or pretend it never happened. This isn’t forgiveness. He embraces the truth.
  • He has a larger vision. God has a larger vision. Sometimes we need to have a larger vision than just what has happened. Maybe we need to see the person who hurt us the way God sees them- or see His vision for all of us; or maybe see that the hurt that has happened fits within a grander purpose that will ultimately result in God’s glory- or maybe we can hold hope that in the end; this painful thing will be long forgotten- that we can let go of it. Our ability to forgive can be hugely impacted by our ability to see a larger vision.
  • He Cancels the Debt. God cancels the debt. He doesn’t expect justice- and is not plotting revenge. He has cancelled the debt. This is really a beautiful picture of what forgiveness really is. It’s not us trying to pretend like nothing ever happened, or having to be best friends with someone who hurt us. That can happen sometimes- but this is not the truest aim of forgiveness- the true aim is to cancel the debt.
  • He wishes and seeks the best for the person who has hurt Him. This probably challenges me more than anything else. It’s easy sometimes for me to cancel the debt- but for me to pray and hope for God’s will to be done in their lives; that they would see God glorified in and through them. This is sometimes tough; but it’s undeniable that this is how God forgives!

 

 

I invite you to go to the Lord with this question this week:

Is there someone you need to forgive? A family member? Co-worker? Friend? Yourself?

 

Have a wonderful week everybody.

May God grant you his peace that surpasses all understanding!

Pastor Ryan