Week 6: REPAIRING RELATIONSHIPS- THE RELATIONSHIP CHOICE:
I evaluate all my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me, and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
“Happy are those who are merciful to others... Happy are those who work for peace.” Matthew 5:7,9 (TEV)
1. I can FORGIVE others because God has FORGIVEN me.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C.S. Lewis
“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (LB); Matt. 6:12; Matt. 6:14-15; Luke 6:37; James 2:13
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 (NLT)
Key thought- I will need forgiveness in the future
2. BITTERNESS doesn’t work.
“To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do." Job 5:2 (GNT)
“Some people stay healthy till the day they die... Others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts.” Job 21:23-25
It's an amazing thing that bitterness does to us. If you don't release that person through forgiveness, if you don't release them, you're going to start to resemble them. Because that's what bitterness does to you. "I'm never going to be like ...." and you fill in the blank "my dad, my mother, my brother, my sister, my ex spouse. "I'm never going to be like...." and who are you focusing on the whole time you say that? The Bible teaches that what we focus on we move toward and what we move toward, we become. You've got to let it go for your own sake.
Hanging onto anger, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness only hurts you! You need to forgive for your own good!
3. How do I become a FORGIVER?
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Remember, forgiveness is not resuming a relationship without change. Forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation. They're two different issues. Forgiveness is not the same thing as rebuilding or restoring a relationship. Forgiveness is instant, but trust has to be rebuilt over time. If you want to have a restored relationship with someone, first comes forgiveness -- that's your part if you've been hurt. But on their part it takes three other things:
1) repentance, demonstrating genuine repentance
2) restitution where and when possible
3) rebuilding trust. Rebuilding trust takes time.
In a relationship that has been harmed or damaged, if you've been hurt, forgiveness is the part you do. But they have to show some other things to show that repentance and restoration has taken place.
“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 (AMP)
Nail it to the cross by...
*REVEALING my HURT.
*RELEASING my OFFENDER.
*REPLACING my hurt with God’s PEACE.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Choose to forgive today, to forgive completely & to forgive generously!