ForgivenessIsNot

Written by cycleguy on August 1st, 2017

I delayed this post due to the one about ME. But don’t think for one moment that means it is any less important. In fact, there may be a “reason” why I was led to delay posting this. Only God knows I guess. 🙂

This past Sunday I preached on Forgiveness. I told the folks as I was studying for the message I scoured my books for help. I think I almost went book for book, shelf for shelf, looking for ways to help the sermon be a bit more relevant. I found something in a book by Sheila Walsh called The Storm Inside. The chapter was titled Navigating Treacherous Water: From Unforgiveness to Freedom.  I hit, as they say, the mother lode! She began the chapter with a quote from C.S.Lewis:

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.

Before I share what she wrote, let me preface it by saying that I think many people have the wrong idea of forgiveness. We often think forgiveness = forgetting. I, for one, don’t know that it is humanly possible to forget what has been done to us. So I focused on what forgiveness is not (from her book written in blue):

  • Forgiveness does not say that what the person did was okay; people do many things that are far from okay.
  • Forgiveness does not say that you have to continue in a hurtful relationship with someone who has harmed and will continue harming you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should stay with someone who is beating the tar out of you or molesting you. GET OUT!
  • Forgiveness is not burying your head in the sand and pretending the offense never happened.  That’s what got you into the mess in the first place.
  • Forgiveness is not denying the pain.
  • Forgiveness does not mean we don’t take the wrong seriously.

Forgiveness is not about removing someone’s liability, but about setting your own heart free. It’s not about the other person’s sin; it’s about your freedom.

I hope you are living in forgiveness and experiencing freedom. If not, maybe these will help.

 

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. floyd says:

    Very well said. “It’s about your freedom.”

    Isn’t that how the Designer always works? What we do for others or on someone else’s behalf, benefits us even more, when done with the proper heart.

  2. Thank you, Bill, for clarifying what forgiveness is not. Years ago, I was really, and I mean REALLY, betrayed and bullied by people I worked with. I’ve long since forgiven them, but I’ve yet to be able to forget what happened, and still wondering why I was their target. It never made sense.
    Yes, forgiveness does set the heart and soul free.
    Blessings!

    • cycleguy says:

      You’re welcome Martha. Forgetting? Probably never? Forgiving? Yes it is possible. We may never understand but freedom comes from that forgiveness. Glad for your approach.

  3. Pam says:

    Sheila’s points ring true–truths we often don’t realize when we are asked to forgive. We also don’t realize that we are the ones who benefit from forgiving others.

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