This past week, Linda Chase concluded her bible study on Embracing Forgiveness by BarbaraCrafton. This was a study that was done twice due to its effectiveness. Below are some highlights from the book and study for those who struggle with forgiveness. The DVD is available for loan.
You Have Heard It Said....
But I Say to You...
One of the reasons that we have a hard time with forgiveness is that we hold incorrect ideas about what it is. Perhaps we are trying to do things in forgiveness that are not life-giving, edifying and useful.
Here is a review of six things that Barbara refutes as characteristics of forgiveness. For each one, there is a quote or two from Barbara to remind you of the fullness of her teaching on that matter.
You have heard it said that to forgive is to forget, but I say to you forgiveness is not forgetting.
People don't forget important chapters in their lives. Forgiveness does not erase history.
Your history has happened and it deserves to be honored. If it's not honored it's liable to be repeated.
You have heard it said that to forgive is to acquit, but I say to you forgiveness is not acquittal or exoneration.
We still have to pay the price for what we do. If someone is acquitted it means they didn't do anything.
We only forgive those who are guilty of something.
You have heard it said that to forgive is to pardon, but I say to your forgiveness is not pardon.
Even when forgiven, you may still have to pay for what you did.
When you are pardoned, you don't have consequences.
You have heard it said that forgiveness is a matter of degree, but I say to you forgiveness is not a matter of degree.
We cannot say that the power of God is not greater than these things.
It might take us a while to wrap our minds around this one; and longer to wrap our hearts around it.
"Okay" has nothing to do with anything when we're talking about forgiveness.
You have heard it said that
is led by feeling, but I say to you
is not feeling.
If forgiveness is a feeling and if somehow, in order to forgive, I have to develop warm fuzzy feelings about someone who did something horrible to me; or with regard to my own shame, if someone I have to develop feelings of being welcomed and loved before I can be forgiven- feelings can't lead me to that state.
You have heard it said that forgiveness is all about the past, I say to you forgiveness is not about the past.
Forgiveness is about the present and the future. Who do I want my future to belong to: the guy who hurt me in 1998 or me and God? I want to live my life with God. I don't want to give it to anyone else. I want my present to be mine. I want my furte to be mine.