Posted by: pastordarren | February 11, 2009

Forgiveness

The last couple of weeks have been interesting in the sports world, and I’m not talking about the Super Bowl.  During this time Michael Phelps and A Rod have been busted for doing things that are not becoming an athlete.  First Phelps was caught on film smoking from a bong and then A Rod was ousted for a positive drug test from about 6 years ago that was not supposed to be made public.

There has been much discussion over the radio, TV and internet about whether or not what they did was wrong but also what the consequences and the future of each of these specifically will be.  Each will be facing consequences or results of what they have done; Phelps has lost some endorsement deals and money and training support; A Rod’s consequences are not fully known as of now but at the very least will loose trust and credibility in the eyes of the public and his fans.

What I find interesting is that while there are consequences for what they and others have done, we seem to as a culture, hold on to those things and keep them over their heads.  We don’t seem very quick to offer forgiveness and then to move forward.

Psalm 103:9-12 tell us – He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;  he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who ear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

God has forgiven us through Jesus because of His love for us and tells us that we are to offer forgiveness to others.  Even though I am not a big baseball or swimming fan, I am a sports fan but it is not my position to condemn them.  I need to follow the example that God has placed on my life and offer forgiveness to those around me, because I have been forgiven.  We are responsible to truely forgive those who have hurt us, intentionally or not, because it does not free them, it frees US.  Let me say that again, it frees US from carrying around a burden of bitterness that we just don’t need to have in our lives.

Consequences are there and God helps us to deal with them and we can help each other too.  Forgiveness allows us to move forward into a new and better future.

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Responses

  1. During the last year the Lord has taken me on a journey towards forgiveness. I say a journey because true forgiveness has been a process that I needed to go through. I think as Christians we are taught to automatically forgive and for some instances we can. But…there are those others, that hurt us so deeply, that as much as we would like, forgiveness just doesn’t come that easily. It is in those instances that we need to guard against the root of bitterness. It starts out so seemingly small and as we feed it (and we do) it grows bigger and deeper and then before we know it….it encompasses our whole life. Our thoughts are filtered through what our hurt was. Then our decisions are based on these filters. Then before we know it our actions beome a direct result of this bitterness. And for the most part we end up oblivious. We have no idea about the burden we are carrying. What is funny about this, is that everybody else sees it. In fact, sometimes other people even help us feed it.

    Not only does this burden weigh us down. But, it keeps us from not only God’s blessings but also from being a blessing that God can use. It stands in the way of our forgiveness from God. It stands in the way of our ministry. It stands in the way of our own happiness, contentment and joy.

    For my own journey, the turning point was when I could say….so and so, didn’t break me. God did! God used this hurt to change me. To change me into a vessel that he could use. He used this hurt to draw me closer to him. To teach me to literally depend on him to get me through everyday. So, your right, through this forgiveness I came through with a new, better, (and I would add, richer) future.

    • Forgiveness can be a difficult thing to truely do and if we don’t, it does affect us in many different ways. Your comment about thoughts and feelings being filtered through bitterness is very true and tough to really see because it becomes our reality. It usually takes God’s power to clean the bitterness away for us to see clearly.


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