Message “I’m Willing to Forgive, but I Don’t Know How” by Randy Roberts
Part 3 - Forgiveness: Scandalous Yet Splendid!
Pastoral Welcome: Darold Retzer and Patty Marruffo
Scripture Reading: Psalm 32:1–7, TNIV - Moreno Family
Prayer: Marvin Ponder
Interview: Joelle Reuer
If somebody asked you the question, “How do I forgive?” how would you answer?
In many cases, it’s not a difficult question to answer. There are bumps, bruises and scrapes we experience in life that are the unavoidable cost of living in community with other people. Someone is late – “I’m sorry.” Someone is impatient – “I’m sorry.” Someone forgets an appointment – “I’m sorry.” In such situations, forgiveness is a matter of quickly recognizing that not one of us is immune to such foibles and that each one of us needs forgiveness for such – sometimes a number of times in a single day! Forgiveness can be reached quickly and completely.
But what about those deeper wounds we sometimes experience? A spouse is unfaithful; a friend knifes us in the back; a person makes a foolish choice that changes the trajectory of our lives – how do we forgive those things?
On one thing we can (likely) all agree – let’s not put Band-Aids on gaping wounds. Let’s not spew pious platitudes about the need to forgive as though Christ-followers never find forgiveness hard. Instead, let’s admit it: at times, forgiveness can be very hard to extend. In fact, it’s not always hard because we’re unwilling to extend it; it’s hard because we’re not sure how to do it.
Last week, in owning up this very reality, we noted that maybe forgiveness would become more possible if we understood more accurately what forgiveness is – and is not.An accurate understanding of what we mean when we speak the words, “I forgive you,” is vital to the process. In this week’s sermon, we look at the issue of just how it is that we forgive. If I make the choice to forgive, how do I follow through on that choice? Are there certain steps to the process?
This week, my prayer is that God’s grace will continue to guide us on the pathway of forgiveness.