One among many that I have struggled with is the command to forgive those who do me wrong, especially the super duper ones who posit, some things are unforgivable, or that’s too big to forgive. I know I felt and often catch myself feeling that way. In reality when I or perhaps you make that choice we are clearly denying the truth of scripture demonstrated by Jesus and the apostles among many others.
Commenting on this Richard Neuhaus stated in Congress on The Bible, “The Christian needs the church to be a repenting community. The Christian needs the church to be a zone of truth in a world of mendacity, to be a community in which our sin need not be disguised, but can be honestly faced and plainly confessed because we know that the worst word about us as sinners is not the last word. The last word is about us as sinners forgiven.”
It is my observation that a strange thing happens when a person gets truly saved. I observed in churches I pastored that brand spanking new believers in Jesus Christ had a propensity to forgive. Then well-meaning Saints would teach them, “Oh, no, that’s not included”, or “How can you forgive him/her, I wouldn’t put up with that.” You know and have probably used the litany of reasons not to forgive. I know I have, for shame.
Then after wallowing in the misery of refusing to follow the lead of Jesus, even Paul who practiced forgiveness of every sort, we began to surrender to Bible truth, ask for God’s help to do what we know we should, and put what the Bible says into action. Amazing things begin to happen.
A local preacher here in town where I pastor suffered his home being burglarized by young adults on drugs. They were caught. My friend went to visit them in jail. Around the same time he read my book, Outrageous Forgiveness in 30 Days. He prayed and made a choice to forgive them, even to appearing in court for their sentencing and asking the judge to bestow leniency to them. He answered the critics concerns with this:
“I have no way of knowing whether they are sincere or not, but I know I am free from the bitterness of the deed and I will not carry around the attitude of a victim. I am free in Jesus!”
Were this brother’s tribe to increase, revival would break out and Christ be glorified as in few times in history.
Growing in Christ means growing up in Him enough to “Obey God and leave the consequences to him” as Charles Stanley is known to say.
1 John 2:12 “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.”
Copyright 2015 © Larry Lilly
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