Monday, August 23, 2010

How to forgive as the Lord forgave you

Yesterday at Hub City Church I challenged people to memorize Colossians 3:13. It says, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

I came across this from Ed Young and I thought it might help you put that verse into practice. It really answer the "how" question: How do I forgive as the Lord forgave me?

Number one, we need to consider the cross. I mean, as a believer, all I have to do, all you have to do, is consider the cross. Consider what Jesus Christ has done on the cross for us. Consider the preemptive forgiveness that he did before we even asked for it. And that should motivate us to do the work. All of us are sinners.

I’m a sinner. So are you. We’re in this together. That’s why [Hub City Church] is a place for those who don’t have it together yet. That’s why we say no perfect people allowed. That’s what we’re for. We’re a hospital for sinners. I’m a sinner. So are you. And the cross reminds of the price that was paid for our sins. So just consider the cross.

Here’s a second thing: Realize that resentment does not work. It will not get you where you want to go. You will not get back at the person. Think about this. The person who hurt you probably doesn’t even realize they’ve hurt you. And even if they know they’ve hurt you, they’re out having a good time and doing this or that while we are in the corner licking our wounds, while we’re saying to ourselves, “Oh, I can’t believe they hurt me. I’m just all leashed up to them.” Just release them. Forgive them. Say, “God, you take care of them. I can’t get them back, God. I know you’re going to take care of it; you’re a better judge than I am.” Just remember that resentment does not work.

The third reason that we should be motivated to do this work is because all of us will need a giant monster infusion of forgiveness in the future. I know I’m going to sin in the future and so do you. Hopefully, I will not sin as much in the future as I have in the past, but I’m going to sin. I need forgiveness. I need grace. I need mercy. You do, too. And because of that, I should release you. I should forgive you. I should do the forgiveness work in my marriage, with parenting, in my [job], with friends. Whatever it may be, I’ve got to live a life of that.

Because the moment I live that kind of life, what’s gonna happen? I’ll discover that unleashing unforgiveness is unbelievable.


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