The Forgiveness Formula- Part 2


800px-Pi_plate Part 1 can be found – HERE.

In part 1 we scratched the surface of forgiveness.  We talked about the fact that we are commanded by God to forgive.  I also presented my first equation on forgiveness: Forgiveness = Freedom.  Today I want to look at the second equation in my Forgiveness Formula;

Forgiveness + Love = Restoration

This goes beyond the command to forgive.  This is to tap the barrel of love that Jesus has given us.  This is a slightly irrational response to being hurt.  Normally, we’re hurt and because of the command to forgive, we move past the hurt enough to not hold bitterness in our heart and forgive the offender.  Sometimes that’s all we can do.  Sometimes the pain or the offense is so horrible that achieving forgiveness is the extent of our ability. 

But as Christ-Followers, the limit or our abilities is the beginning of Jesus’ abilities through us.  This is what separates us from non-Christians.  Here is the difference, our ability to forgive and love someone that hurt us, regardless of the circumstance, is the love of God working in us and through us.  Even if they didn’t want or ask for our forgiveness.  Jesus is an irrational guy.  Rationality tells us that when someone hurts us we should be mad and hurt them back, an eye for an eye if you will, but Jesus turns this on it’s head and tells us to love our enemies.

43-47"You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.  48"In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."  Matthew 5:43-48 The Messagereflect

Grow up!  Live out your God-created identity!  Be different from everyone else.  Go the extra mile.  Think beyond yourself.  Reflect God! 

This is a hard thing to do.  It’s a little revolutionary. 

 

Now check out Romans 12:1-2 in the Message;

1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

You see, it’s our calling to be different, to go beyond the norm.  That passage said at the end that “God brings the best out of you.”  What’s the best?  Love.  The two Greatest Commandments start with love; Love God and Love others.  Jesus ends that passage by saying that EVERYTHING hangs on these commandments to love.  Paul says that out of faith, hope and love the greatest is love.  1 John tells us that love comes from God and if you don’t know or have love you don’t know or have God because God IS love.

When we begin to love someone that hurt us our anger fades and the ability to care for that person replaces it.  This could take a while.  It is probably not an overnight thing.  Give it time.  Start slow.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you. 

Quick Hits about how to find love for someone that hurt you.

1.  Pray for yourself– Pray that God would change YOUR heart, not theirs.  Pray that God would help you to love them.  Pray that God would quench the anger or hate in your heart with His love.

2.  Pray for them.  Pray for them.  And,  pray for them again.  Don’t pray against them, pray FOR them.  Don’t pray that God would change them.  Don’t pray that God would “Get them”.  Pray that God would bless them.  If you know some of the sins in their life you can pray that God would teach them and soften their heart to His will. You can pray for restoration between that person and God.  You can pray for healing if they are sick.  The key is to only pray for good things.  The longer and more earnestly you do this the more love you will feel for them.  It will be hard at first but don’t give up.1117094_73120387

  Forgiveness + Love = Restoration 

Restoration of a relationship, restoration of family, restoration of unity.  Restoration of a person to God, restoration of life.  Forgiveness + Love is a powerful thing!

 

One caveat, this doesn’t mean you should place yourself in danger.  I am NOT telling someone to stay in an abusive relationship.  I have counseled many people to get to a safe place and not go back.  However, this does not preclude you from forgiving and loving that person.  Trust is an altogether different issue from forgiveness and love.  I can love someone and not trust them.

Coming Soon- The Forgiveness Formula- Part 3

It’s all about Him,

Shawn


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Want to show God’s love in a practical way and let people know where they can go for more info or help? Take a look at the DUO page.

Questions? Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know. I will try to answer it the best I can. No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

Einstein 

I’m not Einstein!

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One Response

  1. ”’Trust is an altogether different issue from forgiveness and love. I can love someone and not trust them.”’

    I think that is where people get confused. I have heard many people state if you don’t trust – you didn’t work on forgiveness enough.

    I asked them about the story of David and Saul. I mean what a story to apply to the love and forgiveness. I think most people would struggle with what happened there. One gave the other a good reason NOT to trust in parts of their story!

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