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Forgiving Means Forgetting

September 21, 2014 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: Fact or Fiction

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Colossians 2:13–2:14

Forgiveness and Our Faith

Christianity is a religion based on forgiveness.

Colossians 2:13-14 NIV

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 3:13 NIV

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 18:35 NIV

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

False Assumption #1

1. "Forgiveness means you're saying that what the person did is okay." Forgiveness is not approval.

False Assumption #2

2. "You can't forgive unless the other person is sorry and apologizes." Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. It takes two people to reconcile, but only one to forgive.

False Assumption #3

"You can only forgive after you’re no longer angry with the other person." Forgiveness is about addressing the offense, not the emotions.

False Assumption #4

4. "Forgiveness means a complete restoration of a broken relationship back to where it used to be." Forgiveness is different than trust.

Forgiveness v. Trust

Forgiveness is not the same as trust. We’re commanded to forgive, but we’re not commanded to trust. Trust is built slowly and lost quickly

Enforcing Forgiveness

We’re never told in Scripture to command someone else’s forgiveness. We can tell someone we’d like them forgive us, but we can never tell them they have to forgive us.

False Assumption #5

5. "You have to stop caring about justice when you forgive." You can still forgive someone while pursuing legal channels of justice in this world. Letting someone of the hook legally may not be the best thing for them.

Definition of True Forgiveness

Forgiveness is giving up the right to get even and trusting God instead.

"Time Heals All Wounds"

“Time heals all wounds” is also fiction. If anything, people can become progressively harder and increasingly bitter over time because they’re unwilling to forgive. Time itself isn’t magical, BUT time plus forgiveness is a different story. When we’re able to give up the right to get even, let go of the hatred, and trust God instead? Then over time God can begin to heal our heart.

Connecting Forgive and Forget

It’s fiction to say that forgiving means you also have to forget. But when you genuinely forgive someone else for the wrong they’ve done to you, you make a way for God’s grace to weaken that wrong’s grip on you. So you may never forget, but you’ll discover over time that memory is no longer controlling your life. That’s the freedom that comes with forgiveness

More in Fact or Fiction

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Everything Happens for a Reason

September 7, 2014

Christians Shouldn't Judge

August 24, 2014

Follow Your Heart