Archive for the ‘Hurt’ Category

March 20th, 2008

Forgiveness (3)

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt 6:14-15 (NIV)

Forgiveness is immediate; trust takes time.

Would it not be hypocritical to receive God’s forgiveness personally and then refuse to extend God’s forgiveness to others? We do not earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving others, but we demonstrate God’s forgiveness as we forgive others. Jesus expounded on this concept of receiving and extending forgiveness in Matthew 18:21-35. We are to forgive others instantly as a result of our being recipients of God’s instant forgiveness.

You don’t have to ponder the decision to forgive those who have wounded you. Forgiving those who have hurt you does not validate their behavior or condone their actions, but rather honors God by mirroring His forgiveness towards you. The grace and mercy that God lavishes on you becomes a blessing that flows through you to those who have wounded you. By extending forgiveness, you are allowing the life of Christ to be evident in you and through you.

Forgiveness is immediate; trust takes time. Just because you forgive someone does not mean that it is safe to trust that person. God is not asking you to extend forgiveness and then embrace a posture of vulnerability and susceptibility. You are to walk wisely. It takes time and multiple opportunities for a person to demonstrate trustworthiness. Just as you would not dare cross a bridge that is not deemed trustworthy, you would not trust an individual who has failed to be trustworthy.

Extend forgiveness immediately and then pray for the person you have forgiven. Ask God to transform the one you have forgiven and to help that person become worthy of your trust. It is possible that you may never trust that person again. However, extending forgiveness is not optional in God’s economy.

In my daily quiet time, I came across this question by Henry Blackaby that God is using in my life, “Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you are presently forgiving others?”

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, March 20th, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Grace, Hurt, Hypocrisy, Mercy, Trust.
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