Sunday, October 12, 2008

Forgiveness (Part 4)...

Let’s wrap up our discussion of forgiveness with a few true statements from Neil Anderson’s Steps to Freedom in Christ. Read these wise words and make up your mind to obey God’s command to forgive.

“Forgiveness is not forgetting.”

I still remember the things done to me. I remember, but the anger is gone. It’s been replaced with compassion, pity, love.

“Forgiveness is a choice, a crisis of the will.”

It was a great day when I realized this truth. I began walking in freedom when I understood that I could choose to let bygones be bygones.

“You don’t forgive someone for their sake; you do it for your own sake so you can be free.”

I lived in a depressed state until I forgave. I thought about what “that guy” did to me all the time.

“Your need to forgive isn’t an issue between you and the offender; it’s between you and God.”

I forgave to get right with God. I didn’t really think much about my offender when I chose to forgive. I wanted to be forgiven by God.

“Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. Forgiveness is costly. You pay the price of the evil you forgive. You’re going to live with those consequences whether you want to or not; your only choice is whether you will do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or the freedom of forgiveness…Decide that you will bear the burdens of their offenses by not using that information against them in the future.”

“Don’t wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving; you will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made and Satan has lost his place. Freedom is what will be gained, not a feeling.” (Walking in Freedom, p. 187-188)

And, I’m telling you, freedom is better than good feelings. Freedom is better than anything. You can’t imagine it if you haven’t experienced it. So go get it. Forgive and experience it.

Ready to obey?

Think of all the people who’ve wronged you. Remember the hurts they inflicted. Recall the feelings of rejection. Acknowledge the pain their sin caused. Then choose to forgive. Go through your list of dirty rotten rats and let them go. For each person and each sin pray: “Lord, I forgive dirty rotten rat #1 for dirty deed #1.”

Name names. Be specific about the sins. Be sure to mention them all.

Then release your offenders to God. Here’s a prayer Neil Anderson suggests…

“Lord, I release all these people to You, and I release my right to seek revenge. I choose not to hold on to my bitterness and anger, and I ask You to heal my damaged emotions.” (Walking in Freedom, p. 189)
That’s a prayer God will answer. It’s a plea that will bring freedom. Trust me on this one. I’ve found freedom and freedom is good. I urge you once more: Go after it.

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