Monday, February 2, 2009

The Power of Forgiveness

Cloud of ShameForgiveness (notes attached) is a tough topic because if you have unforgiveness, then you do not want to forgive. But we should forgive. We ought to forgive. But it is hard. Then you add to this our topic yesterday in the parable of the unmerciful servant. If we do not forgive, then we may be turned him over to the jailers. It is easy to see how unforgiveness can lead to shame.

The jailor issue can be tricky. We must realize that God's heart is good. He loves us. We are blessed in the heavenly realms with ever good thing. God is a loving Father. He desires to continue to bless.

Now, realize that our unforgiveness is a sign that we have not received the fullness of the forgiveness we have been given. For those who have been forgiven much love much.

Don't get me wrong, forgiveness is hard. You are taking a step to believe that God will take care of you. That He will protect your heart from the pain instead of the hardening you have place around your heart by not forgiving. Forgiveness takes faith. Heck, all of the Christian walk takes faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

So, why the jailors? God knows that unforgiveness is hindering you from experiencing all He has for you. Although He has blessed us, He has set up a world where disobedience results in a curse. And, for whatever reason unforgiveness seems to be weighted heavier than others. Since we tend to not want to forgive, God will allow the pain to get to the point until we finally address it. Some people will not take the steps to address their sin until their spouse walks out the door. It is not that God all of sudden stopped loving you; He is calling you to the life you were created for.
God loves you so much. He aches to see you step out in faith to forgive others. Often we then need to forgive ourselves for the lies we choose to believe about life and God. Then we also need to forgive God for "allowing" these things to happen. Can you see how forgiveness opens us up to more of God and takes steps out of shame? Can you see why this is so important to God?

So, how do we get our kids to offer forgiveness to others?
  1. First, they need know it is act of obedience.
  2. Second, they should see it modeled by us as parents.
  3. Third (and get ready this is the kicker), walk with them in prayer asking Jesus to show them how He views the other person and how He saw the events that happened.
Remember, truth is whatever Jesus says is true, and God's word empowers us to walk in obedience.

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