Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness is Freedom

Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me. Forgiveness does not pretend there was no offense; it does not dismiss wrongdoing. It does not say, "Oh, that's all right; forget it." True forgiveness is realistic.

Lewis Smedes gave a great definition: "Forgiving is going to a person either in your fantasies or in reality and saying, 'I don't understand. I'll never understand. It wasn't OK and it isn't OK, but I forgive you.'"

"Forgiving doesn't make a person a doormat. Forgiving isn't the same as tolerance. Forgivers don't have to be fools. Forgiving is healing yourself of something that happened to you that you cannot tolerate, but you forgive it as the only way to heal the wound that it left you with."

"You forgive somebody, and you begin to dance instead of wallow. You begin to walk with God. You set a prisoner free, and you discover the prisoner you set free was you."

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