Total Forgiveness (Week 2)

June 7, 2018

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they need to forgive!”
– C.S. Lewis

As noted last week, this month this column is looking at “Forgiveness” highlighting a Spiritual Enrichment Women’s Retreat sponsored by Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Milwaukee. The overall theme was: “Godly Women Forgive Totally.” Pastor Brenda Kearney of Maranatha Christian Fellowship elaborated on the topic of: “How to Forgive Others… Totally.” This week, you will find a synopsis of her presentation.

The concept of forgiveness is nothing new to us as Christians. We have all done bad things, to ourselves and others; have sinned against God and we need His forgiveness. While we most certainly appreciate being forgiven, when the time rolls around for us to forgive somebody else for a wrong they committed against us, we sometimes, many times, all the time, have a difficult time extending forgiveness. Forgiving others may seem like a choice, and in one sense it is a choice, but God has been very clear about forgiveness. He has given us specific directions in His Word, all of which can be summed up by this: FORGIVE!

Total forgiveness means totally…

Full forgiveness has happened when there is a total cessation of negative feelings toward the offender; and also proof of total forgiveness takes place when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook…even if they have hurt not only us, but also those close to us.

Why people don’t forgive:

• We lack experience and expertise;
• We’re angry; we’re afraid of being hurt again;
• We’ve grown comfortable with the victim role;
• Our culture doesn’t emphasize forgiveness;
• We don’t want to admit that we were hurt;
• Our egos get in the way;
• We think the other person does not deserve forgiveness;
• The offender doesn’t apologize or we believe the apology isn’t sincere;
• We wait for the wrongdoer to become a right-doer; or
• We fool ourselves into thinking we have already forgiven.

The best two reasons to forgive:

1. God commands us to forgive others. God forgave us and we should do likewise with one another.
2. Those who do not forgive others indicate they themselves have not been forgiven because a truly regenerated heart is a forgiving heart. If we are filled with resentment and bitterness, we are exhibiting the works of the “flesh,” not the fruit of the spirit, which is evidence of true salvation.

Next Week: Continuation

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in this article, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.