Four Steps to Forgiveness
Dear Customers and Friends:
This is the third segment in our Faith Over Fear focus on the topic of forgiveness.
In our first part, we shared a parable from Matthew 18:21-22 in which Jesus tells his disciple Peter to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” The point is that we should not keep count of sins against us but forgive so often that we lose count.
In Part 2, we shared a lesson from Baptist minister Rick Warren who encouraged us to choose forgiveness over bitterness. He said we should follow the advice of God who forgave us through his son Jesus Christ. By forgiving people in the same way we want to be forgiven, it will keep away the poison of bitterness.
Forgiving someone is easier said than done. But in today’s message, Pastor Warren offers four practical steps.
Blessed to be a Blessing,
President, Syfan Logistics
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.”
Four Steps to Forgiving Others
By Rick Warren
If God expects us to forgive others, what does healthy, biblical forgiveness look like? Here’s a four-part process that we should walk through as we’re dealing with pain brought upon by others.
1) Recognize no one is perfect. When we hate somebody, we tend to lose our perspective about that person. We treat that person like an animal. But we’re all in the same boat. The Bible says, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We’re all imperfect.
2) Relinquish your right to get even. This is the heart of forgiveness. The Bible says, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God . . .” (Romans 12:19). You deserve to retaliate, but you must commit not to do so. It’s not fair, but it’s healthy.
3) Respond to evil with good. This is how you know you’ve fully released someone from the wrong that has been committed against you. God’s love doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
4) Refocus on God’s plan for your life. Stop focusing on the hurt and the person who hurt you. Instead, refocus on God’s purpose for your life, which is greater than any problem or pain you might be currently facing. If you don’t release your offender, you will begin to resemble your offender.
So don’t sit another day in your resentment. If you’ve been holding on to pain caused by someone else, go through these four steps and move on to the rest of the life you were created to live!