And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. Judges 15:15
Sometimes we assume that people just don’t want to forgive—they are revengeful & stubborn. Of course every one of us are like that at different times, but I believe most people don’t forgive because they both don’t understand what it means nor do they really know how.
The Jawbone of
There is something in each one of us that pushes us toward relationship. We look for people like us; we want to be around them—some more than others. We seek the approval of others and at some levels this is healthy. Community is a big part of what it means to be human.
At the very point of creation we see that we were intended to live in community. People wonder why God first created man without a companion. I believe He purposely introduced a glitch so He could teach us that we need each other.
The problem with community is to have it you need more than one person. When you have more than one person you will have conflict. The more people added to this mix, the greater the potential for hurt feelings, misunderstandings and the need for forgiveness.
Almost everything Jesus taught us is the direct opposite of our natural tendencies. He said that the last are first, the weak are strong, the meek will inherit all things. Following the ways of Jesus is always anti-culture; this also includes the Americanized Christian culture we are surrounded by.
Jesus demonstrated that in the seemingly weak spot on the cross, He became the most powerful human on earth by forgiving the ones that put Him there. He was powerful because He didn’t wait for an apology—He chose.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free… and discover that the prisoner was you. —Lewis B. Smedes
Bringing wholeness to humanity
My wife Melanie & I work with a great organization called Get Whole. Along with a wonderful staff we put on weekend events for groups of people that want to learn what may be contributing to their physical, mental and spiritual issues.
Bitterness, resentment, hurt, self-pitty, rejection, past and current wounds all tend to work on us quietly in the background until either a diagnosis comes or we just get tired of being tired.
I’ve found that forgiveness takes effort—sometimes extreme effort. But when we purpose to live the way Jesus taught and modeled, the benefits outweigh the work.
What forgiveness is not
In this talk you will learn 4 things that forgiveness is not. As you hear each one, at the surface level you may think you already knew it was not that. But I encourage you to go a little deeper and you may see that forgiveness is more attainable that you thought.
You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.
Peace and wholeness on your journey!