24 Oct “Forgiveness, #2”
Come on, Pastor, you don’t really expect me to forgive when the things they did to me are sheer evil!
FORGIVENESS AND TRUST ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS:
Forgiveness is freely given. You forgive, because you are held hostage to an unforgiving spirit. Could I forgive a drunk driver for an accident that left my wife an invalid? No, not in my own strength. In fact, pain would create anger. I could allow that pain to consume my life. I could get even. I could run the person down in a car and call it justice. What would that solve? Nothing! Then I would have to deal with the results of my revenge. I would then become the victim.
Trust must be earned. I use the term loosely. A dad has sexually abused his son or daughter. Years later, after the young lady has finally, through the grace of God, forgiven her biological sperm donor (a worm of a dad) this evil man hears his daughter has become a wonderful Christian. She now teaches large groups of women on the subject of forgiveness. Now, the dad has not changed his ways at all. SO, the dad finally finds contact information on his daughter. He calls her up and requests dinner with her. What should she do?
Trust, justice, and mercy are not enemies with each other. When you forgive, you don’t have to throw justice out the window. If you forgive, you don’t have to immediately trust the person who wronged you. In criminal cases justice should be pursued. Let me give you an example.
“Now that you have forgiven me for stealing all your pension fund, I’d like my job back as the bookkeeper of your company. Unless you hire me back, you haven’t truly forgiven me.” How could our world replay to that situation? “Forgiveness is free. Trust must be earned.” I would not trust that person, until that trust was properly earned. I would avoid hating them, but I wouldn’t subject myself and my funds to an individual who hasn’t earned trust.
Our struggle with an unforgiving spirit can be defeated. I have personally gone to great lengths to make sure I am not nursing a bitter, unforgiving spirit. In the future, I may still have to deal with another episode of anger with those who have truly committed hateful acts against myself, my family, my church or my God. As long as there are people on the face of the earth there is the potential to get hurt and become bitter.
We must learn to pray about evil that has been committed against us. Give it over to Jesus. Allow Jesus to wash you again in His blood. This will give you a free, clean spirit. You will be able to pray, love and serve Jesus effectively when you turn all the stuff over to Jesus.