WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT
by Dr. Larry Petton (excerpt from my book, "I CAN'T FORGIVE").
Text: Ephesians chapter 4
Ruth Bell Graham described a successful marriage as the "union of two great forgivers."
Forgiveness has been described as, “Me not hurting you, because you hurt me.”
Forgiveness is one of the major teachings of the ministry of Christ.
Forgiveness is one of the key characteristics of the life of a disciple of Christ.
But let’s talk about what forgiveness IS NOT.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT EASY. It is the most difficult you will ever do to forgive someone who has stolen from you, lied about, hurt you or broken a vow to you.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT NATURAL. The normal, human response is revenge. The flesh always wants to get even.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT DENIAL. You can’t just put hurtful things under another rug. Someone hurt you. Someone wronged you. How will you deal with that?
FORGIVENESS IS NOT A ONE-TIME EVENT. Forgiveness is an active verb. You have to get up daily and die to the anger in your heart. It doesn’t normally happen overnight.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT APPROVAL. Just because you forgive someone, that does not erase the wrong they have committed.
FORGIVENESS DOES NOT NECESSARILY RESUME A RELATIONSHIP. Good relationships are built on trust. If someone has hurt you and broken that trust, you can forgive them, but you may not necessarily be able to resume the relationship.
HERE IS A PORTRAIT OF TRUE FORGIVENESS
President Ronald Reagan has always been one of my heroes in life. His forgiveness of his enemies was one of the many things that made him great. Ronald Reagan's attitude after the 1982 assassination attempt on his life made an impression on his daughter, Patti Davis. As she watched the faithful example of President Reagan, she later declared:
"The following day after the assassination attempt, my father said he knew his physical healing was directly dependent on his ability to forgive his attacker, John Hinckley. By showing me that forgiveness is the key to everything, including physical health and healing, he gave me an example of Christ-like thinking."
Is there someone you need to forgive AGAIN today?
Don’t let that emotional cancer of unforgiveness grow in your heart anymore. Take that person to the Cross of Christ now and let Him cover them with His forgiving blood. When you fail to forgive……you are the prisoner and you have built your own prison cell. Let Jesus set you free. Pray His prayer that He uttered from the Cross, “Father, forgive them…for they know not what they do.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Tim Richards on Dec 1, 2004
The command came, "On your mark, get set," and then the pistol cracked and the race was on. A fine athlete sprang to the lead, and when the race was over he had broke the state record. Only a few other runners even finished the race. Many dropped out when they saw they could not win. As the field ...read more
Contributed by Guy Glass on Aug 5, 2005
In 1269 Kublai Khan sent a request from Peking to Rome for "a hundred wise men of the Christian religion...And so I shall be baptized, and when I shall be baptized all my baron and great men will be baptized, and their subjects baptized, and so there will be more Christian here than there are in ...read more
Contributed by Troy Borst on Apr 21, 2005
CONCLUSION.. Ambition of Satan (http://elbourne.org/sermons/index.mv?illustration+4879) Martin Luther had a dream in which he stood on the day of judgment before God Himself -- and Satan was there to accuse him. When Satan opened his books full of accusations, he pointed to transgression after ...read more
Contributed by Dale Pilgrim on Aug 12, 2005
Dave Brown, author of “Entertaining Ourselves in church” speaks about “Neil Postman, a professor of communications arts and sciences at New York University wrote a fascinating book called, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. He says, “Postman doesn’t write as ...read more
Contributed by Dr. Craig Nelson on Nov 14, 2017
A detailed look at the Atonement in relation to physical healing.
Contributed by Sean Harder on Jul 6, 2012
Chapter 15 of Luke is the start of a new discussion as Jesus makes his way into Jerusalem to fulfill his ultimate sacrificial mission. It begins with the Scribes and Pharisees grumbling because Jesus always allowed sinners to listen to him and eat with hi
Contributed by Dennis Lee on Apr 14, 2019
This sermon looks at Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its life changing message that our sins are forgiven, we have a purpose to live out through the power and promises of Christ, and our eternal future is secured in heaven.
Contributed by Peter Silway on Nov 5, 2014
At one time or the other we all come to a place of Marah (bitter).but then bitter or better, is really our choice. We cannot choose what comes to us, but we can choose how we respond to it, and that is what determines whether we become bitter or better.