You can listen to his sermon hereThe Amazing Power of Forgiveness
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
(These are my thoughts based on Rick’s Sermon)
At the beginning of his sermon, Rick asked five questions. I am going to look at three of the questions and follow up with the others on my next post.
#1 A person should not be forgiven until they ask for it. True or False? False. Pastor Rick says that we need to grant forgiveness whether or not there has been a request. He says real forgiveness is unconditional and should be given as soon as possible. That is a tough one when you have been wronged. Many times we need to go through the grieving process before this is possible. If we continue to give the situation to God and trust Him I believe it can be done.
#2 Forgiveness includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused. True or False? False. Forgiveness is meant for the big offenses Rick tells us. The intentional infliction of pain or hurt would fit in this category. This type of affront is a big deal, and the seriousness of this offense should not be minimized but should be forgiven.
#3 Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship. True or False. False. There cannot be a restored relationship without true change. Rick says that three things have to occur.
Genuine repentance, How can you tell if it is genuine? I have no idea.
Rick also says there has to be restitution. I would take that to mean all the folks hurt by the actions of one person had to be addressed. I remember the many sermons spoken by my ex and his father regarding the seriousness of restitution when someone had been wronged. Words are worthless without actions is all I have to say about that. But, we still have to forgive.
You have to rebuild trust. You can forgive in an instant, but rebuilding trust takes time, sometimes a long time. That being said when you do forgive there is no requirement to trust again. In my opinion, in many cases, you would be foolish to do so.
“Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.”
Rick Warren –
Thank you, God that you love us and that through your grace you have forgiven us. Thank you too that you give us the strength to forgive even though forgiveness may not have been requested. I know that through forgiveness we are free from bitterness and can move on to help others on the same path.
(There are 2 more questions from Rick that I will cover on my next sermon post….stay tuned:-)