New Sunday school study on forgiveness

Youch! That’s almost like praying for patience and as exciting as a doctor visit. But, you know, prosperity sermons don’t address the whole maturity thing. Getting spiritually cleaned up is looking more like pumping the septic tank — it’s going to need it again eventually. We all need a refresher course and if you don’t think you need help in this arena, you’ve been listening to too much Joel Osteen.

How bold and judgmental of me to suggest … ! The book is called Total Forgiveness and we will do a book report in a summary format here.

This morning was the introduction and a preview of coming attractions. We haven’t picked up our copy yet and I didn’t take notes. What I remember from today is in this nutshell: forgive us our debts (or treaspasses) as we forgive our debtors (or, those who trespass against us). The key word is AS. How does Jesus forgive us? Instantly, fully, no lectures, no conditions, no problems. He throws our infraction(s) in the legendary Sea of Forgetfulness which means — He is not incapable of remembering our sins, He is however, capable of choosing not to remember them. A key difference, something we can’t do, try as we might. So first, our forgiveness of others is an act of obedience, mechanical if you have to think of it that way and our feelings catch up … whenever. To forgive is to pledge to never bring it up for self indulgence purposes, i.e. “do you know what he/she did to me???” Pick that scab and not only are you delaying healing but you are creating a bigger scar.

We are commanded to issue forgiveness at the same speed and completion as we are forgiven by the Savior, and we are to continue in our relationship with the one who hurt us as if the offense never occured. Now we’re meddlin’. You think that stinks, we are not necessarily permitted the satisfaction of informing the perpetrator that we are hurt!!

This is going to be interesting. Supplementary material backup will be Joyce Meyer’s teaching CDs Bitterness, Resentment, and Unforgiveness.

You know, after 3 months or so on the book James and his admonishments on the evils of the human tongue, I was ready for Joel Osteen and his dessert sermons. Apparently Someone Else disagrees with my assessment.

Here we go ’round that mountain again.

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