■Realize I am not God
■Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, that He has the power to help me recover
■Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control
■Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust
■Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character
■EVALUATE ALL MY RELATIONSHIPS. OFFER FORGIVENESS TO THOSE WHO HAVE HURT ME AND MAKE AMENDS FOR HARM I HAVE DONE TO OTHERS, EXCEPT WHEN TO DO SO WOULD HARM THEM OR OTHERS.
How much or how many times do we have to forgive? Let’s take a look at the story where Peter asked Jesus the same question. Jesus told Peter about the story of the man who owed the king a large sum of money. The king wanted to settle the account, but the man could not pay. The king showed compassion and forgave the man’s debt. This same man went out to someone who owed him money, much less of a sum than what he owed the king, and tried to choke the man, demanding he pay up. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” Matthew 18:35. Those may seem like harsh words; however, having unforgiveness in our hearts hinders our relationship with God and others. When you think about it, that then hinders our following the first two commandments: Love God, love others.
So, let’s review the week:
Monday: We discussed the three reasons why we should forgive others. Because God has forgiven you, because resentment doesn’t work and because you’ll need forgiveness in the future. That through our accepting the fact that Jesus came to earth, suffered and died on the cross for our sins and was raised to sit with our Father, we then have to believe He said, “It is finished.” Meaning it is finished for each one of us. We do not need to worry, carry resentments of others or unforgiveness in our hearts! We can let go and let God!! Imagine the peace and freedom that comes with that.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Tuesday: Leslie talked with us about the 3 R’s in the book: reveal your hurt, release the offender, and replace your hurt with God’s peace. To reveal our hurt is the easy part, but release the offender? As Leslie said, “Yeah right, I need to forgive someone who hurt me so badly? They are the ones who had broken my heart in so many ways and did not care at all about it, why should I forgive them?” How exactly do we do that? We have to love our enemies, pray for them, and bless them. Finally, we have to turn it over to God. By doing so, He will help us to forgive and love them.
With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.
Wednesday: Kim discussed how we must stop looking inward and start looking upward. “It’s been about us for so long. It’s time that it is about someone else or Someone Else. It’s time our lives reflect Whose we are.” Yes it is. We need to spend time in prayer and ask God to show us who we need to make amends with and how we make those amends – whether in person, via letter, or the ‘empty chair.’ Our hurts, resentments, and sins are in the past; aren’t you ready to leave them there? Love this: Freedom is yours. Let Him lead you into deliverance. You’ve changed from victim to victor!!
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
Hebrews 12:14, 15
Thursday: Amy takes us into praying, writing, and sharing about what we have worked through so far. By asking God to help us both forgive those who have hurt us and make amends to others, we will find freedom because He will guide us in releasing the resentments we have built up for so long. Writing about these issues helps us see them as real. It helps you see your responsibility clearly when you write them down and review. Finally share about it. It is very important for you to share your inventory with a trusted accountability partner. This will help you develop a safe plan in making your amends or offering forgiveness. One thing to remember when making amends or offering forgiveness is that your part is to take your forgiveness or amends to the person. You cannot control their response. Freedom comes when we step out in faith to free our hearts from the hurts or offenses we have had. God will honor that, and give you peace and freedom.
This step is vital in the peace and freedom God has to offer each one of us. I know I keep saying this but He does want to give us the desires of our hearts and in abundance.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalms 145:17-19
Father, we are so thankful for the grace and love You have given to each one of us. You are an amazing God and we give You all the honor in what You have done in our lives. Lord, we are asking now that You lead us through this step of offering forgiveness and making amends. Help us to forgive those we need to and let go of the resentments we have held onto. Give us the words to say when we make amends to those we have hurt. Father, I ask that You also heal those we have hurt and go before us in making a way for reconciliation. Heal the hurt hearts of each one reading this, Lord, and give peace and freedom in their life. We do love You, Lord, and stand in awe of what You have done and what You are about to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!
Continue praying that God will guide you in offering forgiveness and making amends in a manner that will give freedom to you and those you speak with. If you have made amends and would be comfortable, please share your comments below. Pray for all those in this study as we take these steps together.
If you would like to send a private message to Laurie in regards to this blog, please email her at Laurie@girlfriendscoffeehour.com