Thursday, November 3, 2011

9 Thoughts on Forgiveness and Trust

  1.  When you feel angry about a recurring offense, the anger is not in and of itself bad, but you need to know that anger can lead to sin (Ephesians 4:26).  Anger is an emotion that tells us we need to do something to change the situation, so we need to ask God what we should do.  
  2. Within the context of prayer God will often require forgiveness if we are taking the offense personally.  Sometimes God will just require you to take it (1 Peter 2:19). 
  3. There are times when you will need to assert boundaries between you and people who continually hurt you.  Be careful when dealing with someone who has offended you (Galatians 6:1).  Please follow God’s word, His prompting, and the advice of strong Christians.  Your “boundaries” may be nothing more than revenge (Matthew 18:15-20).  This is why you must carefully ask God to lead you in the right direction.  
  4. Doing nothing when God is prompting you to do something is wrong (James 4:17).  Your inaction may lead to others being hurt.  
  5. So what if you are the offending party?  The two statements that need to be said are: 1) I’m sorry for (name offense).  2) Will you forgive me? It’s their call whether to forgive you, so don’t come unwound when you do not get a favorable answer.  
  6. Christians are commanded to forgive, but it is one of the most advanced things a Christian can do, so many Christians struggle to do it.  So don’t flip out when they don’t.  
  7. You need time to show yourself trustworthy.  It may be that God may need to work on their heart for awhile.  I have been on the other side of an unforgiving heart and it is so painful because there is nothing you can do to force someone to forgive you.  
  8. If you are being refused forgiveness, then you should “bear up under it” as stated 1 Peter 2:19 above.  This will take being “conscious of God.”  
  9. You need to do your part in rebuilding the relationship (Romans 12:18).