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Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

oops!

April 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Yesterday, at request of the senior pastor, I shared the word during the first service. After much thought and consultation with Holy Spirit during the course of the week, I was led to speak about mistakes. I used the Fall of Samson (one of the judges of Israel) as my case study. A lot was revealed, so I decided to share my notes via this medium because I feel it could reach and help more people. A lot of times, people don’t know how to bounce back after a mistake. Some people feel their mistake is “unforgivable”, “the end of the world”, “has no way out”, but there is absolutely nothing God cannot forgive or save you from.; nothing you cannot come back from by His grace.

Please read and be blessed.

Judges 16:17 AMP
Then [finally] he told her everything that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never been used on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any [other] man.”

What is a mistake?
A temporary lapse in judgement.
An error or blunder in action, calculation, judgement, opinion, or statement caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, ignorance or insufficient knowledge.

A mistake can be made knowingly or in ignorance.
A mistake can be a one-time occurrence or habitual.

Humans are prone to error; that is, we make mistakes, and Christians are not immune.
We are imperfect beings striving towards perfection every day through the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, so don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.

Too often the disappointment in yourself, disappointment to others, and shame prevent you from dealing with the situation. Yes, you made a mistake, you messed up; and your friends are disappointed, your wife/husband is heartbroken, your family is disgraced…that’s unavoidable as the deed has been done, and those are some of the consequences of your action(s) as people try to deal with it.

However, don’t let that bring you down. People may [and some will] treat you differently, but God never will.
The woman caught in adultery was berated, but John 8:7 AMP says “However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”, and that was that. God doesn’t condemn us for making mistakes; He doesn’t berate us.

You’re not defined by your mistakes, but what comes next is what matters; and you have two choices – Wallow in it or Fix it.

Wallow In It
This is indulging in an unrestrained way.
Like some people say, “Why bother? I’m already going to hell anyway”.
Wallowing is the worst decision because it comes from a place of self-pity, self-rejection, self-hate, and shame.
Wallowing leads to depression, loss of conscience, loss of morality, and deeper indulgence in sin.

The devil has a way of making you feel like you’re not worthy, so the “best” decision is to hide from/withdraw from our Father like Adam and Eve did when they discovered they were naked and hide from God. The devil wants you to isolate yourself, so he can destroy you. But, like the prodigal son discovered, mistakes should never make us feel our Father has rejected us. At first, shame didn’t let him go back, so low do he go? He ended up a degenerate – eating with pigs. Only to receive the shock of his life when he decided to repent and go back home. It should never cross your mind that our Father won’t receive us with open arms. You may be punished, but you will be forgiven. Ask Jonah.

Fix It
This is taking responsibility for your actions and finding a way to rectify the mistake or ease the pain caused.
It starts with coming back home, like the prodigal son did. Don’t go further and further away.

You can come back stronger; like Samson did.
Judges 16:28‭-‬30 AMP
Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God , please remember me and please strengthen me just this one time, O God, and let me take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Samson took hold of the two middle [support] pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, one with his right hand and the other with his left. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he stretched out with all his might [collapsing the support pillars], and the house fell on the Lords and on all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.

Yes, with the revelation of the blunder, there may be anger, disappointment, disgrace, hurt and shame from men, but God is not man. God will not reject you and it’s His opinion that matters the most.

Hebrews 4:16 AMP
Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

Samson, rather than feel sorry for himself, decided to fix it. He made a mistake, owned up to it, repented, obtained mercy, and finished strong.

A mistake isn’t the end of the world; you can come back, and by God’s grace, finish strong.

Categories: events, nuggets Tags: ,

apology

May 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Forgiveness is a very popular subject, and with reason. Arguments usually drag out simply because one person is too stubborn to forgive and the other person is too proud to apologize. It is important to forgive in order to have peace and live in peace. The apology, which is the order side of the coin, is sparsely emphasized, in my opinion. I did a teaching on it during bible study at my church yesterday, and I thought to share.

An apology is a regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure.
This acknowledgement is usually communicated via “I’m sorry”, “I apologize” or some other plea for forgiveness. A sincere apology is remorseful; it is not an opportunity to continue bad behavior. Sorry loses its value when it becomes an excuse to repeatedly offend.

An apology doesn’t automatically result in forgiveness. The onus is on the offended to accept the apology or not. Forgiveness cannot be demanded; demanding forgiveness after offering an apology does not convey regret for one’s actions.

An accepted apology isn’t a sign of weakness on the part of the offended, but a sign of strength; some offences hurt very deeply and can be very painful. An unaccepted apology isn’t a sign of weakness on the part of the offended, some wounds take [loads of] time to heal. I think the right approach in a situation where forgiveness is desired, is to communicate remorse in other ways asides from a verbal apology and/or gifts; I suggest a change of attitude and/or behavior.

I found this during my research and it resonated with me: An apology is remorse followed by silence, space and changed behavior. A real apology is less speaking and more personal work on yourself. A real apology is looking within and addressing what caused you to hurt someone you love.

As the offender, when you apologize, mean it; if you’re not sorry, save it.
As the offended, don’t get hung up over an apology. Don’t wait for an apology before you forgive because it may never come. There will come a point in your life when to have peace, you will have to forgive someone that will never apologize.

You never know how strong you are until you have to forgive someone who isn’t sorry and accept an apology you’ll never receive – Unknown.

Granted, some people won’t apologize because they don’t know they did something wrong, some people won’t apologize because they don’t agree/believe they did something wrong, and some people won’t apologize because they really don’t care how you feel.

It might be a cliché, but forgiveness is actually for your benefit.
If you’re a Christian, part of the Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us” – Matthew 6:12 (GNT). In essence, “Please forgive me God as I forgive others”, or “Please don’t forgive me if I don’t forgive others”. God said, without mincing words, in Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV): “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift”. God is all about forgiveness and reconciliation; it’s what the Good News is all about!

Another aspect of forgiveness is the forgetting.
Some people say “I will forgive, but I can’t/won’t forget”.
Wisdom demands that you should learn from the experiences of others, but if you have to learn from yours, then please do. Hence, if someone offends you and you have chosen to forgive, learn from the experience [and adjust the status of your relationship with the person, if necessary], but don’t bring up the person’s offence at a later time. If the offender has to deal with the repercussions of their actions, then, so be it. However, that repercussion should be consequential, not retaliatory; meaning whatever you do should be corrective, as a consequence of their actions, not in revenge. For example, if your significant other abuses you ]for the first time], you forgive. If it happens again, you forgive him/her, but break up or move out or get a restraining order. The break up or separation shouldn’t be your way of getting back at him/her (meaning you haven’t forgiven), but simply the consequence of his/her actions – because you have to keep yourself safe. However, if at any point, he or she needs your help later on and you’re in a position to offer assistance, please do. Do not hold the abuse against them; if you do, then you haven’t forgiven or forgotten.

I’ll use our relationship with God to tie it all together.

Repentance is sincere regret (or remorse) for sin and wrongdoing. Therefore, being a [born-again] Christian is about being genuinely remorseful for hurting God and offending Him.

At repentance, God forgives all wrongdoings and wipes your slate clean (2 Corinthians 5:17). Now, once in a while (hopefully), you may slip up and err, it’s called being human. God is merciful and understanding, always ready and willing to forgive. However, you cannot repent of sin and continue to consciously sin, simply because you know He will forgive you. That is taking God for granted; you are not sorry. Don’t take Him for granted. As forgiving as He is, He might punish you, and you won’t like it at all; but here’s the important part – the punishment is almost always correctional.

We are not God, but He expects us to be like Him. Anyway, what I’m trying to point out is God forgives countless times as long as you’re sorry; and you show your genuine repentance by turning a new leaf.

Personally, I honestly also believe that the most sincere apology is changed behavior.

let it go

September 11, 2013 Leave a comment

I found this extract from the book by Bishop T. D. Jakes that bears the same title. It touched me, and I thought I’d share. Enjoy.

There are people who can walk away from you, and hear me when I tell you this, when people can walk away from you, let them walk.
I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.  If someone wants to leave, you can’t make him/her stay, eventually, they will leave.

When people can walk away from you let them walk; your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.
The bible said,”…they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us.” [1 John 2:19]
People leave you because they are not joined to you; and if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.
Let them go.

It doesn’t mean that if they leave, they are a bad people, it just means that their part in the story is over, and you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over, so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead. You’ve got to know when it’s dead. You’ve got to know when it’s over. Stop begging people to stay, let them go!

Let me tell you something: 
I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. 
It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me, and if it takes too much sweat, I don’t need it. 

If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to…LET IT GO!
If you are holding on to past hurts and pains…LET IT GO!
If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth…LET IT GO!
If someone has angered you…LET IT GO!
If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge…LET IT GO!
If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction…LET IT GO!
If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents…LET IT GO!
If you have a bad attitude…LET IT GO!
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better…LET IT GO!
If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him…LET IT GO!
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship…LET IT GO!
If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves…LET IT GO!
If you’re feeling depressed and stressed…LET IT GO!
If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself, and God is saying “take your hands off of it”, then you need to…LET IT GO!

The hardest thing in the world is letting go, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I hope this blesses someone 🙂