Summary: As Human Beings, one of the most important things we need to learn in life is how to forgive others. This is also more important to Christians. The Bible clearly tells us we must forgive. Forgiving others helps us to understand what Jesus went thr
FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE
As Human Beings, one of the most important things we need to learn in life is how to forgive others. This is also more important to Christians.
The Bible clearly tells us we must forgive.
Forgiving others helps us to understand what Jesus went through for us and helps us to receive the forgiveness that God extended to us.
There are three important steps on how to forgive others.
Step I. THE BIBLE CLEARLY TELLS US THAT WE MUST FORGIVE OTHERS
(Mark 11:25 NKJV) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
Jesus states quite clearly here in this scripture that if you have anything against anyone, you must forgive that person.
1. This is not optional on our part, but rather it is imperative to our own well being that we forgive others.
Most Christians understand that this is not always an easy task.
There may be people here tonight, who have people in their lives which have wronged them severely and as a consequence, are unable to forgive them.
Corrie ten Boom told a story once of not being able to forget a wrong that had been done to her. She had forgiven the person, but she kept rehashing the incident and so couldn’t sleep. Finally Corrie cried out to God for help in putting the problem to rest. "His help came in the form of a kindly Lutheran pastor," Corrie wrote, "to whom I confessed my failure after two sleepless weeks." "Up in the church tower," he said, nodding out the window, "is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. But you know what? After you let go of the rope, the bell keeps on ringing.
First ding, then dong. Slower and slower until there’s a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true of forgiveness. When we forgive, we take our hand off the rope. But if we’ve been tugging at our grievances for a long time, we mustn’t be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming back for a while. They’re just the ding-dongs of the old bell slowing down." "And so it proved to be. There were a few more midnight reverberations, a couple of dings when the subject came up in my conversations, but the force -- which was my willingness in the matter -- had gone out of them. They came less and less often and eventually, they stopped altogether: we can trust God not only with our emotions, but also with our thoughts."
2. Though it may be a process, and it may not happen instantaneously, we must be willing to take the first steps toward forgiving others.
3. As long as we continue to harbour bitterness in our hearts toward someone else, we allow that individual to have a controlling factor in our lives.
a. There are a number of occasions where unforgiving Christians lose their relationship with God because of what someone else had done to them in the church.
b. There was once a man who lost his relationship not only with God, but also his children and people in the church because of his bitterness toward others. He basically went around feeling sorry for himself all the time.
To forgive means to send away. In other words, to not hang on to the wrong doing.
4. When you forgive someone, it means that you are not holding that sin against that person.
a. You’re not praying that their car will crash or that they will meet with a horrible death.
b. As a matter of fact, you actually begin to pray for their salvation and deliverance.
This prayer was found in the clothing of a dead child at Ravensbruck concentration camp.
O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us:
Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering, our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble.
When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
5. Understand that when you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that you have
to re-establish a relationship with that person.
a. It may, by God’s will, lead to that and that’s great if that’s what God desires.
b. I read again, (Mark 11:25 NKJV) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
In this verse, there’s no mention that you should stop praying and go find that person to let them know that you forgive them.