Monthly Archives: March 2017

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Genesis 33:3-4

3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

Go Deep

Bekah from The Wally Show relates all-too-well with the idea of “holding a grudge.” She has a delightful way of explaining how she stays inspired to let go of anger and run toward forgiveness.

Last week, I said something that hurt my husband. I had chosen my words poorly, yet carefully, and I knew that the second those words left my mouth, they had landed hard.

Immediately, I begin apologizing. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it! I’m tired! I don’t know what I was thinking! Please forgive me!”

And just as immediately, he responds, “That was too far. But I know you didn’t mean it. Of course, I forgive you.”

And that was that. I thought he’d be upset about it for days, but within seconds, he had moved on to the next topic.

Boom. Forgiven. Done.

Yes, I’m married to a saint. No, I have nothing in common with him when it comes to forgiveness. In fact, I hold grudges like it’s an Olympic sport. I can tell you the name and birthplace of every bully I had in school. I can give you a play-by-play of any given argument from 10 years ago.

I’m not good at forgiveness, even if it’s just a small thing. I let it fester and become a monster of an issue, even though I expect instant forgiveness when I wrong someone else.

Jacob and Esau were brothers who knew a thing or two about grudges. Their entire relationship was a grudge. It started with each brother being loved more by different parents, and it escalated when Jacob stole everything from Esau and Esau threatened to kill him. (Genesis 25, 27, 32-33)

Years later, it all comes to a head when Jacob hears that Esau is coming for him. This is it. It’s payback time for little brother. Before the confrontation, Jacob tries to bribe Esau by sending gift after gift after gift in the hopes that Esau will spare his life.

Yet after all this wrong, Esau runs to his brother and greets him in a sign of forgiveness, instead of with death.

In a relationship riddled with drama and grudges, it took one person looking beyond himself to extend that forgiveness. Esau had every right to hold a grudge against Jacob….forever. But he chose not to. It may have taken him 20 years to get to that place, and it doesn’t mean their relationship was sunshine and rainbows from that point forward, but they made peace.

So often, I get a feeling of entitlement with my grudges—that I deserve to feel resentment and bitterness toward the person that wronged me.

But I’ve been on the receiving end of someone looking beyond their own pride and choosing to forgive me. As we’re discussing this entire series, it’s freeing for both the one receiving forgiveness and the one offering it.

It’s almost painful to think of all the freedom I’ve missed out on because of my long list of grudges. So I’m working hard to drop some of my baggage and learning to forgive as quickly as my husband does… before my grudge list gets out of control.

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Colossians 3:13

13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Go Deep

Forgiveness isn’t fair. So, how is it possible?

Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North explains this perfectly in today’s video. He tells the story of asking his dad, “How did you forgive your alcoholic father?” The answer flips forgiveness on it’s head and had Mike FLOORED.

 

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 6:14

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Go Deep

Is forgiveness a one-time thing? Joy from The Carlos & Joy Show shares how she’s learning to answer this question.

Choosing to forgive someone is not just a pivotal moment, but the beginning of a process.

I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago!

It has always been hard for me to forgive. I can blame it on my overactive emotional memory. I can recall a single moment from years ago and remember how someone made me feel. That is a beautiful gift if the exchange was wonderful, but a curse if it was painful. Maybe you are like me that you can almost relive the moment when someone really truly hurt you in your mind and play back every detail.

Even after I decide to forgive, I am still hurt. I am still angry.

I have read in Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Powerful words that remind me how important it is to forgive. But as much as I have searched and scrounged through scripture, I have never found a verse saying it’s a magic trick to a transformed heart.

When my roommate up and left me all alone in an apartment I couldn’t afford…

When the guy I thought was “the one” broke my heart and left me in tears…

When my friend broke a promise that was really important to me…

I was angry and knew I needed to forgive them. Even though none of them came to me and asked for forgiveness, I knew I couldn’t be free of my own hurt and anger until I learned to first forgive.

Now, I am no master forgiver because some of my hurts took many months of counseling and seeking help to learn to let go of and forgive. But what I discovered over and over was releasing the anger and bitterness towards my offender to God did not immediately take away all the hurt.

I was always surprised to find the emotions would come back when I least expected it and I would have to forgive the person ALL OVER AGAIN!

I felt like I must be doing it wrong until I remembered this scripture, Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

I don’t think God just shared that with us to help us keep a better count of how many times people offend us, but because he knows our spirits will need to forgive people over and over. It’s a process but I think that’s the point. Forgiveness is yet another thing that I cannot do on my own, but it is suppose to teach me to rely more on God. Repeatedly giving God my hurt and anger and asking him to help my heart forgive draws me closer to him and reminds me that forgiveness is not something I can rock at on my own.

It doesn’t matter how many times I need to forgive someone as long as I keep doing it. Each time I have brought a situation back to God and realized that I need to posture my heart in a place of forgiveness yet again, God is so good to work away at my hurt until it slowly lessens and eventually heals.

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]

Go Deep

What do you do when you know you’re not in the wrong? Do you have to forgive then? That’s tough! 

This happened to Wally from The Wally Show after a huge disagreement with his brother-in-law. He discovered that bitterness changes more than just yourself or the person who wronged you…

Read (from the New Living Translation)

Luke 7:44-48

44Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, Your sins are forgiven.

Go Deep

We’re jumping right in! Darren from We Are Messengers starts off with a POWERFUL story showing us exactly what forgiveness looks like.

If God told you to confess everything wrong you’ve ever done to your spouse… would you do it? That’s what happened to Darren after he started following Jesus. His wife’s response… let’s just say it radically changed his view of faith and forgiveness forever.

 

Just before this video released, Darren was in a terrible accident on tour. Everyone in their crew is ok, but their tour bus and many of their belongings were burned in the fire.

It was a rough night. Join us in praying for everyone involved. If you want to help them replace a lot of their equipment so they can continue the tour, check out this link to their You Caring page.

If you’ve ever been hurt. If you’ve ever hurt someone else. If you’ve ever been too hard on yourself. You’re in the right place.

Forgiveness – whether we embrace it or reject it – has a huge impact on our lives. This 15 day study dives into stories from your favorite Christian artists and personalities who have been there. They’ll share how God’s Word has challenged their perspective and transformed their lives through the power of this one word.

Step 1: Fill out the form below.

Join over 30,000 people nationwide who have taken part in the Forgiveness study.

Step 2: Get the daily e-mail devotions.

Inspiring stories and passages from Scripture will be sent right to your inbox every weekday morning for the 15 day study. You’ll get the first e-mail the day you sign up! 

Step 3: Respond.

As you grow, you’ll have the opportunity to respond to each day’s reading or share with friends who may need the message, too.