Saturday, January 7, 2012

Forgiveness

Last month I attended a Script class/workshop/conference/group meeting at Westwinds with my sister and her friend.  It was really inspirational to get so much information and advice and insight to something that is so difficult and so often struggled with.  Forgiveness.  I took notes, of course, and before I lose the notebook or it gets too full/overused, I want to make sure I get them journaled somewhere they won't get lost.  The information given by Becky was invaluable, and though my notes are pretty vague, they definitely give you something to think about.

Why is it hard to forgive? 

  • trusting again
  • acceptance
  • revenge
  • pride
  • lack of trust
  • no completion
  • denial
  • don't want to deal with emotions
  • want to be right
  • humility
  • confrontation
  • negativity is easy, forgiving isn't
  • want to heal before forgiving
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God"
You love much when you've forgiven much.  

What does it mean to love?
What does it mean to be forgiving?

**When you understand what you have been forgiven for, you begin to forgive differently.

When we forgive:
1) We realize they are not monsters, they are people like us.  When we reduce people to an action it is dehumanizing.
2) We relinquish our right to get even.   
Romans 12 17-19  "17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord."
When you forgive, you have chosen not to get even.  

3) You begin to want to bless that person.  

-Forgiveness does not remove your right to hurt or feel the pain.
-Forgiveness doesn't mean the act or offense was okay.
-Forgiveness does not mean punishment is not necessary. 
-Forgiveness does not mean inviting the offender to hurt us again.  It does not mean reconciliation.  It does not mean you have to trust them.  

We forgive because:
1) We are commanded to forgive
2) It gives us a future of hope
3) It is good for our health. 

Who we forgive:
1) Only the people who hurt us
2) You know for a fact they did it on purpose
3) Those that don't ask for it
4) Ourselves

How do we forgive?
1) Recognizing we hurt
2) We acknowledge what has been done to you, how it has affected you
3) What was the exact action.  Call it by name.  "Lord, I forgive ____ for ____."
4) Don't wait too long- it will destroy you if you do. 
5) We don't stop forgiving.  We lose count if we keep score.  
Matthew 18 21-35 1 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.   
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.   
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.  
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.  He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.    
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’   
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.   
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.    
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
6) Journal.  Be still.  Pray.  Contemplate.  Write it down... steps 1-5.  Then burn it. 



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