Forgive that #@^&$**# : You have to be joking!

My wife and I were sharing a time of Bible reading and talking about the Lord’s prayer this morning after breakfast.

Mat 6:8 –15

…. for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We were discussing the issue of forgiveness and how forgiveness is tied up in the act of love. Both of us have faced tremendous pain, hardship and deep wounding in the past. In this we are not alone; for many of my readers have also faced tremendous pain, hardship and deep wounding in the past and there is a strong possibility that you are still are going through this now.

My wife made the observation that often we don’t know how to forgive, nor do we want to forgive. Sometimes the hurt from what has been done to us is so strong and deep that there is no way we can even think about forgiveness. Its in these times perhaps that we can think about praying;

Lord, help me to be willing, to be willing to forgive. For I don’t know how to forgive; I don’t want to forgive; and yet I know that you want me to forgive. So I ask that you will help me and show me how I can forgive and to help me to do so.

Finally on the subject of forgiveness. Its important to distinguish the difference between forgiving and still carrying the hurt that happened to us. I have heard it said far to many times; forgive and forget. This is pastorally dangerous. Forgiveness says; in spite of what has happened to me; I forgive you for it. It does not mean that we forget what happened to us. God is able to take the sting out of those hurts. He is able to heal our hearts of the bitterness and pain, and even heal our memories of what happened to us.

Forgiveness releases us from the pain and bitterness of what has happened to us. It doesn’t ever excuse what happened to us. A wise man once told me that there are times when we need to forgive ourselves, forgive others, forgive God and even forgive circumstances and things. Whether they be real or imagined!

Finally the Lords prayer teaches us that we too are not perfect. We also have harmed others; and we too are in need of forgiveness and reconciling with God also.

So what do you think? Should we pray?

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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3 Responses to Forgive that #@^&$**# : You have to be joking!

  1. Great article Craig 🙂 I have found much freedom in praying for willingness to forgive. Our faithful Lord had helped me many times in this area. Needing to pray that prayer really helps me realize that I need His grace all the time, apart from Him we can do nothing. I need Him to change me to become more like Him.

    I have heard Joyce Meyer and others preach that forgiveness is a choice. But

  2. If it wad purely choice, I would be self sufficient and therefore not in need of God’s empowering grace. It can also send the message that if one forgives then continues to experience feelings and those feelings are fueling fantasies of retaliation etc then one hasn’t forgiven properly. For the more significant thongs it is a process.

    • Craig Benno says:

      That’s an interesting observation about us being self sufficient. We can make a choice not to fuel and chase those fantasies of revenge; though admitting it is difficult, its part of taking our thoughts captive. One other issue I didn’t add was that to forgive doesn’t mean we have to trust that person or circumstance again.

      Forgiveness doesn’t mean we don’t practice self care and place proper boundaries around us. This means depending on the circumstances and situations we can cut all ties off from someone who has deeply hurt us to prevent further harm; or restrict the access we give that person to us; so as to minimise any potential further harm.

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