“But I just don’t know if I can ever forgive what was done to me.” I’ve looked into the tear filled eyes of many as they have spoken those words with a quivering voice.
But, what if I told you that you didn’t have to forgive WHAT was done to you?
WHAT was done to you was wrong. WHAT was done was unjust. WHAT was done should never have happened, and I pray it never happens again.
You are not expected to forgive WHAT has happened to you in your life. The key to forgiveness is that we must find the grace to separate the offense from the offender. When we are able to untangle the two, then we make the choice to forgive WHO it is that hurt you.
WHAT was done is the action that was committed against you. WHO did it is the actor that was used to bring the pain. In the process of forgiving the person, we must look beyond them to see the true source of the offense that has occurred in our life.
Our battle is not against flesh and blood, and though the WHO that hurt you may have been in flesh and blood form, that person was only a tool in the hands of an enemy. It is the enemy of your soul who has come to lie to and steal from you.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider our own forgiveness and the grace we received from the life and death of Jesus on the cross.
In Colossians 3:13, Paul tells us:
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
When we reflect upon our own salvation, we realize that God Himself separated the WHAT from the WHO in our lives.
WHAT we did was paid for through the death of Jesus on the cross so that WHO we are could be forgiven by the grace of God. What an amazing gift!
Now it is our turn to give what we have so freely received as we release WHAT was done to us to the justice of God and allow even it to be paid for on the cross. We then make the decision to forgive WHO it is that our enemy used to commit the act against us.
You can make the choice to forgive today by praying a prayer such as the one below.
Father in Heaven, Thank you for the forgiveness I have received from you. I repent of holding unforgiveness in my heart. Just as You forgave me, I make the choice to forgive_______________. I release what was done to me to Your justice. I ask that Your grace would cover _______________ and free them from the lies of our enemy, releasing them to a life of joy and healing in Your goodness and blessing. Amen.
If you would like to learn more about the choice of forgiveness, you can click HERE to listen to the entire message of “Give Forgiveness” by Pastor Eric.
I opened yesterday’s message with the miraculous story of Chris Carrier and the power of his choice to forgive. Read Chris’ full story by clicking HERE.
At the conclusion of yesterday’s service, I referenced a great series of videos on youtube entitled “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.” Here’s a clip of Mark Gungor and his humorous revelation about the male and female brain.
On the Radar
Brazil Mission Trip — Pastor Mindy and Pastor Lorin leave in December for a mission trip to Brazil! They will each need to raise over $3,000 for trip costs. For more info and to find out how you can support their trip, click HERE.
The Freedom Weekend is quickly approaching. Have you signed up? Make plans to join us November 6 – 7 for an amazing weekend of discovering the healing and joy found in Christ Jesus. Space will be limited, so sign up early! For more information, a schedule, and registration information, click HERE.
Happy Birthday to the Sweetwater Prayer Center! This week marks the one year anniversary of the Prayer Center (and the 11 year anniversary of our church). I encourage you to make visits to the Prayer Center a part of your weekly routine. Schedule in opportunities to soak in the presence of the Lord. You can register and get the 24 hour access code the Prayer Center by clicking HERE.
You Heard it at EFC
Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang? Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself. You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.
- “Happy Day” by Tim Hughes
- “Your Love Never Fails” Jesus Culture version-This song totally rocks!
- “I Repent” by Barry and Michelle Patterson
- “How Marvelous” Chris Tomlin version
Next Sunday, October 11, is our final week of “Live Like You Were Dying.” I invite you to join us as we culminate this series by discovering how each of us can “Embrace Eternity.”