22. FORGIVE or you will be SORRY!

Question and answer: “I hate apologising, it is so embarrassing. Do I have to do it?”

It can be embarrassing, but God does want us to be humble. It is important for us to admit it when we are wrong and to set the record straight. When we understand that God will require us to apologise, it does help us think twice before we do or say something stupid.

Matthew 6:14-15 ‘If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’

Forgiveness is a gift we receive from God that we don’t deserve; Therefore, forgiveness is a gift we give to others that they don’t deserve.

Forgiveness includes giving up all emotional claims for compensation and ceasing to feel resentment after a wrong has happened. After forgiving someone, you will still recall painful memories. Remind yourself that you have forgiven, and choose to think about something else. Pray for those concerned and eventually your anger will subside.

Fact: Music and films can stir our emotions to make us feel good or bad. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a choice. We choose to forgive.

We forgive because God commands us to, and for medical reasons! Un-forgiveness breeds resentment, bitterness etc, this has been proven to lead to physical illness. Un-forgiveness hurts others and can lead us into sinful habits to escape our own pain.

If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us! Matthew 6:12. We continually ask God to forgive us, often for the same sin, so be forgiving when someone keeps offending you. Treat others like God treats you.

Wisdom: If your fellowship with another believer has been broken, unless you forgive/confess and seek restoration, your right standing before God will be compromised. Matthew 5:23-24, Luke 7:41-47. Resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Think: Do I need to apologise to someone or make amends?

A circle of apology should be extended to those people who were involved within the circle of offence. Therefore if we have made a public mistake or caused offence then a public apology needs to be made.

More Info: Matthew 18:21-22, Mark 11:25, Luke 15:11-31, 17:3,4, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, 1 Peter 4:8. The story of Joseph, Genesis 45-50.

Visit the interactive version of this course online. www.byfaith.co.uk © 2003 ByFaith Media.