I believe that we all have God-given talents and gifts. For me personally, I think that my greatest God-given gift is my forgiving spirit. I don’t know. I’ve always been forgiving. And today, in church, my pastor gave a really good sermon on forgiveness entitled “Forgive and Forget!”. I thought that it was great to listen to it and really contemplate it. So today, for my first weekly “Passage of the Week”, I thought that I would use:
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
It’s easy to hold a grudge. Even I, as a person who is generally really forgiving, have had times in which I found it really hard to forgive. But really, forgiveness is one of the greatest things in the world. Forgiveness isn’t earned. It’s given. So this week, I am going to especially focus on being forgiving.
Besides, forgiveness can be really hard to give to a person especially when it seems that they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. And that’s where the forgetting comes into play. Did you know that the Inuit / Eskimo (I’m not sure which one is correct) word for forgiveness literally means “not being able to think about it anymore”. My pastor also made a really good comment in his sermon today:
“When you forgive, each offense is the first offense, since all previous ones are already forgiven!… To forgive is to forget. When God forgives us He gives us a promise that He will remember our sins against us no more. Even so when we forgive, absolving one another, we promise to forget. That mean we won’t bring up the matter with the person forgiven, we won’t tell others about it, and we won’t dwell upon it in our own mind. Forgiveness without forgetfulness is a complete sham. To say ‘I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget’ is a contradiction in terms.” – EJW, Sermon on February 5, 2017
So this week, I’m going to really work on forgiveness. I think that I’m pretty good at it, but I really, really want to focus on it because it’s ever so important.
If you’re interested in reading the sermon that my pastor wrote up, just let me know and I will see what I can do!
Sermon text for 5th Sunday after Epiphany 2017:
“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” – Proverbs 17:9