It heals relationships, restores peace and renews hope. It reduces the power of shame, expresses love and heals our soul. It is the antidote for bitterness, the beginning of a relationship and the soothing balm for minor irritations. Often misunderstood and viewed as the choice of the weak, meek and simplistic it is nonetheless what we all need to personally experience sooner or later. What is it?
It is not the same as trust, although you cannot grow to trust again without it. It is not identical to reconciliation, although you cannot be reconciled without it. It is not an escape from justice although some people assume so. Forgiving is a decision, choice and action to live like Jesus and is very hard to do. Forgiveness is central to our Christian faith and life, part of the Lord’s Prayer and prescribed in the scriptures. It is absolutely foundational to everything in our life and so we are going to spend eight weeks studying it. Prayerfully, we will refresh our understanding of the forgiveness God offers us and grow in our understanding of why forgiving one another is very important. For individuals or small groups who desire to do so, there will be a study guide available. Douglas Connelly has written a helpful study entitled Forgiveness: Making Peace With The Past. Each week the sermon will follow the assigned passage and the study will reflect on the Biblical passage. We will probably struggle at times with this series because living out God’s Truth always takes both courage and grace and that is especially true when it comes to forgiveness. Are you ready to explore the greatest and hardest gift you will ever receive?