“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
― C.S. Lewis
"...because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins."
"The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
• Prayer is hindered when stubborn un-forgiveness reigns. Though we approach this subject of forgiveness today; it takes a lifetime to implement, daily applying the healing balm of Gilead.
• Forgiving is the breath we inhale - prayer is the breath we exhale. Anything less is spiritual suffocation. Much has been written about the affect that unforgiveness has on the human body, the human psyche, and the quality of life. Forgiveness is vital to our life energy, it is not optional. We must forgive & we are most like God when we do.
• Most Christian psychologists agree that forgiveness begins when the victim that has been unjustly hurt or violated, willingly releases the painful debt owed by the offender for the purpose of healing for both parties. The human conscience fashioned after the likeness of God requires payment for offence. The offense cannot be brushed aside or ignored. The way the conscience is built is that it will quietly seek out resolution and justice until it is satisfied. Then it will rest.
• Three unresolved things that must be addressed in a believer's life and healed by the cleansing catharsis of forgiveness for him to advance down the road of communion with The Master in prayer:
1. Forgiving ourselves.
2. Forgiving others.
3. Forgiving God.
Forgiveness comes full circle when the offended out of compassion for the perpetrator prays for them and for their blessing
Proofs of Forgiveness:
• We are most like God when we forgive. As we see with Joseph and his brothers:
1. Don't tell anyone what they did - (2 Sam 1.20- Publish it not in Gath)
2. Don't destroy their reputation due to the fact you don't want people to think well of them - Malice - Eph 4.31
3. Don't make/allow them to be afraid of you - "Fear not, it is I" - Gen 50.19
4. Doesn't matter if they feel sorry or not - don't let them or make them feel guilty Gen 45.5
5. Let them save face - cover it. Don't let them know you're hurt - 45.11
6. Protect them from their darkest secret. Gen 45.15,16
7. Total forgiveness is a life sentence - something you do for the rest of your life - Gen 50.19-36
• In the end, what finally destroys every relationship is an inability to forgive. It isn’t the offense that destroys the relationship, it is the inability to forgive that destroys the relationship.
• the inability to forgive not only destroys relationship, it destroys the people who don’t forgive.
• We live in a society that has made a virtue...or tried to make a virtue out of vindictiveness
• To live in unforgiveness imprisons a person to their past
• We must forgive. There is no choice. Do it for Christ's sake. Do it for your sake
“Only the brave know how to forgive. It is the most refined and generous element of human virtue. Cowards have done good deeds and performed kind acts. Cowards have even fought and
conquered. But cowards never forgive. It’s not in their nature, their hearts. The power to forgive flows only from a strength and a greatness of soul, conscious of its own humility and security and able to rise above all the little temptations of resenting every fruitless attempt to steal its happiness,” - Lawrence Stern.