Sunday, March 2, 2014

Forgiving the Unrepentant

God’s Second Greatest Gift (Part 5)
Romans 12:17-18

Misconceptions about forgiveness block the wonderful resource God has given for us to experience strong relationships.  We continue to learn about God’s Second Greatest Gift. 

I. Things Forgiving is Not

Forgiving is not excusing, enabling, smothering conflict or tolerance, forgetting, ceasing to feel the pain or instant emotional healing, waiting for an apology…

·      Forgiving is not the removal of consequences or neglecting justice.
Trusting Jesus for justice releases revenge.
A relationship is weakened when one side uses shame to control another.
·      Forgiving is not regaining automatic trust.
Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.” Rick Warren
The breaking of trust is when your character changes in relation to another.
·      Forgiving is not restoring the same relationship or reconciliation.
It takes one person to repent and one person to forgive. But it takes two people to reconcile.
We will probably never understand why we were hurt. But forgiving is not having to understand.
Proper forgiveness is the only tool that can heal a damaged heart and open a door to a better future than before the heart was broken.  

How do you forgive someone who won’t repent?
·      Claim God’s Provision to Wait
God provides for the believer longsuffering as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) to endure the attacks from others with strength and dignity.
God’s patience = the power of God over Himself. God’s restraint is the flipside of His power.
Forgiveness begins with mercy shown for the purpose of repentance.
When taken for granted, mercy becomes enabling.

·      Call out to God for guidance and strength!

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