Sun, Jan 13, 2019
by Chris Russell
Final Words week two message from Pastor Chris Russell on January 13, 2019 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana. Many of us have learned the wrong things about forgiveness from a young age. For example, many of us were taught that forgiveness requires some form of repayment. Many of us were taught as kids that if we did something wrong we needed to say or do something to make it right. Now there is certainly merit to this idea but it can also develop an unbiblical approach to forgiveness because it can lead to a mindset of “forgiveness comes when the person who hurts me makes it right.” And when we follow that line of thinking we end up saying “If you have wronged me in some way, IF you say something or do something to make it right, THEN I will forgive you.” The problem is… that’s not forgiveness. That’s justice. We want repayment. And the truth is if you’ve been hurt very badly there is nothing that can be said or nothing that can be done to make up for it. That’s where forgiveness comes in… Forgiveness is more powerful than Repayment Revenge Resentment Forgiveness is... - NOT minimizing the seriousness of the offense - NOT reconciliation - NOT forgetting what happened Matthew 6:14-15 For those of us who have made a decision to follow Jesus, we must realize that we have a higher calling than the worldly response to being hurt. We serve a God who sets an example for us on the big picture of life, a God who did everything to restore our relationship with Him, a relationship we don’t deserve. And at times offering that forgiveness is going to be extremely difficult because there is nothing inside of us that wants to offer it, we’ve been hurt that bad. But we serve a God who commands us to take the same amazing forgiveness He extends to us and in turn offer it to others.