Monday, July 19, 2010

The stench of forgiveness.

For the past two weekend's at our church our Pastor, Steven Furtick has been preaching a series called "F-Bomb". One of the things I love the most about our church is that they take Jesus culture no-no's and turn them into Jesus culture yes-yes's. [oh my...that's horrible grammar ain't it?][smile]

So...the "F", in this bomb stood for forgiveness. And this was one of the most practical, insightful and transforming messages I have heard.

Normally when you hear a message on forgiveness, there is a lot of condemning. A lot of well...Jesus said to forgive 70 times 7, so turn that cheek and move on.

Yes, Jesus did say that.

But, Jesus also knew that forgiveness would be one of the hardest areas in our lives to overcome. It's not always as easy as just a little cheek turn.

When I think about my life in the past ten years, I can think of three situations that stick like glue to my heart when it comes to forgiving. I could take the time and write out all of the situations. Your mouth might drop, you might be shocked, and yes it would make for a very interesting blog.

But the one thing I have learned that was reiterated this weekend was that part that forgiveness means: setting a person free, and realizing that you were the prisoner the entire time.

I find myself going for days, weeks, months and even years without even thinking about the situation. And suddenly, a little stench of the situation creeps back in to my heart. Someone says something about them, I'm asked about a situation that has to do with them, or worse...they contact me for something. It stinks. Bad.

But friends, the one thing that I have come to fully grasp is that just because someone does us wrong...doesn't mean we have to do them wrong. Which is so counter-culture.

I loved how Pastor Furtick said, "Forgiveness isn't weakness..it's the ultimate portal to Christ."

Just because we don't gossip back, we don't steal back, we don't take away from them doesn't make us weak. It makes us just like...Him.

As I think about dropping a forgiveness bomb into my life and other's life there's a good stench -maybe like Grandma's apple pie in the oven good smell. It's a comforting smell, one that makes you want to stay awhile and soak up the goodness.

So what does the picture of forgiveness look like for me? As many times as this broken down Jesus girl has been forgiven, its pretty much a high standard in my life to forgive. Yes, people will hurt me, they will make me mad and I will have the ability to always have the ball in my court: I can become a hater of them or I can become a greater ambassador of Him.

I choose goodness. I choose grace. I choose love. I choose to...forgive. Because it's what He did for me. [John 3:16]

Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." -Romans 12:17

You can listen to the sermon and other's at www.elevationchurch.org later today. But I would love to pray for you today. Is there something on your heart that you need someone to stand in the gap for? Whether it's forgiveness or another area of your life...I have time for you today. Please feel free to leave a comment and you can anonymously, and I promise to get before the Father on your behalf.

Prayer changes things. Love you friends.

5 comments:

Terri said...

You can pray for me, I need all I can get. I am working on forgiveness four times over on the same person, same "crime." You'd think it would get easier, but it just gets harder and harder!

Rebecca Jo said...

Last weeks message knocked my socks off... I just went to check to see if the new one is up yet... I'm so anxious to hear more!!!

Melissa said...

Nicki,

Please pray for my relationship with Mike.

Thank you so much.

xoxo,
Melissa

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Terri, just spent some time praying for you!

Rebecca, i'm so happy you got to hear it too!

Melissa, just prayed for you too!!

auburnchick said...

Oh my gosh. This is an incredible post. Forgiveness is something I really struggle with. This post has some very good points. Very convicting and oh so true.