spiritual conversations #2 – disappointments, mistakes & hurts

Everyone has been disappointed or let down by someone in their life.  Everyone has had misunderstandings from small miscommunications to giant problems.  Everyone has been hurt at some point by somebody else’s intentional malice.  Truthfully, we all have plenty of opportunities to get hurt – or the better way to consider these opportunities is to think of them as practice in forgiveness.  Yesterday, I blogged about the need to have spiritual conversations – if you haven’t read it, its a good read and the comments are great!  Anyways, its been my experience that generally, forgiveness is required to have spiritual conversations.  The better my practice of forgiveness, it seems like my spiritual conversations have more depth & happen more frequently.  I’m considering that this could be in direct correlation to my forgiveness of others as linked to receiving forgiveness from God.  Matt 6:14-15 says that God forgives me in proportion to how I forgive others.  My point in all of this is that forgiveness is a big deal to God – probably because He gives so much of it to us.  So in the grand scheme of life, God is asking us to forgive others for disappointing us, making mistakes & hurting us.  Read the comments below to get some great insights & suggestions related to forgiveness & feel free to leave your thoughts as well.  🙂

17 thoughts on “spiritual conversations #2 – disappointments, mistakes & hurts

  1. I think it means that we are to forgive others in the same the God forgives us, without holding onto offences, and not to retaliate in any way. To love that person with God’s unfailing unconditional love, seeing past their faults and actually seeing them as God sees them.

    Now I’m not saying that this is easy by any stretch, but we need to strive to be like Christ.

    I hope this made at least a little bit of sense????

  2. I like to think of it as forgives us our short comings as we forgive other peoples short comings. by the way 3 AM?????????I thought those days were gone with the babies. Maybe not.

  3. I have just been putting the concept of Jubilee, from the Old Testament, and forgivness, searching my heart too see if there is anyone I’m holding a debt against to forgive them giving myself and other persons freedom-jubilee. I have found there are people I needed to let go that I hadn’t realized I held anything against.

    Also, I think there is a very good word picture in the story of the preschooler learning the Lord’s prayer who prayed,” Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who fill our trash baskets.” We just need to take out the trash.

  4. Hello!
    I think it means when it says “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” that it means the way we forgive other ppl who sin against us is the way we ourselves will be forgiven.

    Mark 4:24 says “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.” (NIV)

    Also I don’t know about you, but usually when someone’s ticked me off and I just want to hurt them, the first thing thing God says to me is, “Have you ever done this?”. And sometimes you think, “We’re not talking about me, we’re talking about what they did!” Another great scripture on this is Matthew 7:2.

    Hope this helped and I look forward to hearing it.

  5. After looking at this a little more closely. It almost scares me. If I pray forgive my debts as I forgive others. Wow. I would rather God forgive me my debts as He forgives others. I am not as forgiving as He is. It really makes me want to work on my forgiving of others. He reiterates this concept in verses 14 & 15 Matthew 6.

    hmm. thought provoking verses. I do believe He is talking about our day to day living.

  6. “Unforgiveness is like drinking a poison and expecting someone else to die from it.”-Unknown

    Without being forgiven by the Father through Christ, we’re dead meat.
    Without forgiving others, we kill ourselves.

  7. Sarah,

    As a side note, my mom has done christian counseling for a number of years, and she mentioned to me once about how when you have unforgiveness in your heart how it eventually starts to affects your health.

    On the other hand when she would counsel people and they were willing to forgive those people who had deeply hurt them, their whole face, body and countenance was transformed.

    I once went to a counselor who taught me something that stuck with me through all these years. She told me that when you forgive someone you’re not saying that what they did was okay, but that you are willing to that that debt that they owe you go unpaid.

    One scripture that has ALWAYS stuck with me to is Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

  8. There seems to be a constant tension in the church of forgiveness vs. calling people out on their issues in the name of progress. It’s a tough subject because the bible supports both trains of thoughts. How do we lovingly point out offenses? Is that our role? Etc. etc.

    Overall, I think it needs to be a transformation of the mind. We need to walk in the light of forgiveness; if we don’t then it will be impossible to forgive others.

  9. God gave us the most amazing forgiveness known to man, but…he also expects us to forgive others as a result of him extending us forgiveness in the first place. How can we ask for forgiveness if we are unwilling to forgive our brothers and sisters?

  10. i heard a wonderful sermon this summer about this very subject and felt it was a revelation to me. for me, this portion of the prayer ties back to the parable of the man who owed the king 10,000 talents. essentially, this debt was an impossible debt to pay. the king would’ve had to have paid it back to himself to forgive this debt. just as the forgiven man, when i refuse to forgive possible debts to pay, i am telling the Lord that that debt is more important that then the debt i owe to Him. i’m placing more importance on a possible debt over my impossible debt. it gives me an awesome perspective of the magnitude of God’s forgiveness towards me. if He can forgive me this massive debt that i could never have paid – what right do i have to hold out on forgiveness towards anyone else?

  11. Hey Sarah,
    I have been pondering the thought of that verse. This is one of those amazing life changing verses that if we truly knew the depth of understanding of this verse. We would not have to empty our pockets of all the pebbles and rocks that we have collected for that day of unforgiveness aainst others who have hurt us and place them on the alter. If we really forgave our debtors then in the morning we would not be filling our pockets with the same pebbles and rocks. This is a powerful verse and this is how God wants us to pray. That’s the cool part. He wants us to remember if he forgives us then we should freely forgive others.

  12. So I’ve been pondering this forgiveness thing for the last few months actually… And then reading the “Sean Brage/Josh Michelson” interchange on “You taste like a burger, I don’t like you anymore” (I don’t know how to link to that yet, but check out theworldisbrightandbeautiful.com)
    So here are my thoughts:
    1. A cold day in July doesn’t make it Winter. Emotion doesn’t dictate forgiveness, choice does. Emotion is, as Watchman Nee so beautifully states, “soulical”, forgiveness is spiritual. The feeling has nothing to do with the choice, but the experiential walking out of the forgiveness will line the emotions up with the forgiveness in the same way that our baptism and resurrection into the spirit allows us to realign our spirit into union with God, allowing our souls and emotions to then “experience” or “feel” His presence and forgiveness in our lives. So what I’m saying here is do it, then feel it. Not the other way around. And I’ve had to learn that it’s ok if I’m not all warm and fuzzy about it when I forgive. Maybe I’ll get there, maybe not. God can take care of that in me.
    2. More often than not, I’m upset but I don’t really know what I need to forgive. I know the branches. I have no understanding of the root. I get super hurt, up in arms, and affronted by someone’s debt or offense but really, if I don’t take it home and ask God what the issue is, I’ll spend the rest of my time forgiving two cent sins when I’ve got billion dollar debt to deal with and out of that I’m committing and piling up debt of my own because I never let God show me how I was really hurt. In this sense, I think the issue of why people leave the church and speak poorly of the bride is a VERY touchy subject (and surely one for another day) but consider the root and not the branch. In forgiving I’ve needed to spend just as much, if more time asking God where I should repent and ask for forgiveness. Typically I find that for each wound I’ve received, I’ve wounded in return. And usually much later, and with someone completely unrelated to my initial wound.
    Repent, forgive, repent, forgive… It’s a good cycle. But really it only works in a vertical relationship with the Father. He shows us when we’re the prodigal son in pig fodder, and when we’re the prodigal father with an opportunity to open arms and walk out the experience of seeing that it’s still summer even though sometimes it’s cold in July.
    Sorry for the longest comment ever… I’m new and I’m a rambler…

  13. MATHEW 18:23

    The Parable of the Talents is absolutely perfect for this sermon, Sarah. The King goes to settle accounts with his servants, and one comes before him that owes ten thousand talents. Using today’s figures, let’s bring this into perspective:

    -A talent of Gold weighs 94 pounds. If there are 16 ounces in a pound, that means we’re talking about 1,504 ounces of Gold.

    -Gold closed today at $729.00 per ounce, which means that each talent is worth $1,096,416.00.

    -The total of the debt owed by this particular servant $10,964,160,000.00.

    Yes…almost ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS.

    There’s no way that this servant could pay the back. Even if he wanted to, promised to, or whatever…not in ten thousand lifetimes could he pay this amount back. He CANNOT pay that debt.

    So let me ask the question: What is the point for any of us to try to collect from someone who can’t pay?

    It is not possible for any of us to pay God back for what we owe. The price is too high. So in asking God what we owe, be prepared to be humbled. We can’t pay Him back, just like anyone who has wronged us can’t pay back the debt they owe.

    Holding it over that person’s head is like what was said earlier: Bitterness or Unforgiveness is like drinking poison with the hope that your enemy is going to die from it.

    It doesn’t work that way…We only end up poisoning ourselves.

  14. Another way to look at forgiveness is like this (I actually heard this the other day):

    A group of students in a particular class were asked to bring a plastic bag with them to their session one day.

    The Teacher explained that, for the next while, if anyone said anything or did anything, they had to come up to the front of the room, pull a potato out of the box that the teacher had brought in, and after writing the person’s name or the event on the potato, they had to place the potato in their bag.

    As one might surmise, it wasn’t too long before people were carrying around some pretty heavy bags of spuds. To continue on, they had to carry these bags of potatoes with them wherever they went, for a marked period of time. Like any produce, after a certain amount of time, the potatoes in the bags started to rot– to decompose in their bag.

    When something starts to decompose, what happens? Slime. Goo. Rancid, nasty, filthy, decaying sludge. Look bad? Definitely. Smell bad? Enough to gag the heartiest of cockroaches.

    The potatoes represent our unforgiveness, bitterness, and offense. The bag is our soul– the place where we deal with such things. So if we hang on to unforgiveness too long, the unforgiveness is going to look bad, smell bad, and coat our souls with this nasty slime. A bitter, rotten root will produce fruit of the same quality.

    God commands us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. So if we cannot forgive ourselves for our offense, how can we expect to be able to forgive our neighbor? Not only that, if we don’t forgive our neighbor, we don’t release God to forgive us.

    Just my thoughts…

  15. I Corinthians 4:12: When men revile us [[a]wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it.

    I think this verse adds a great perspective on the subject of forgiveness…maybe I’m cynical, or just know myself too well…but in all actuality most of the time I think I need to forgive, I really need to just get over it. It may be that people don’t need true forgiveness from us, they just need a little patience and understanding.

    In the context of spiritual conversations, are we reacting to a difference of opinion, a heated response, or a true offense? We are wounded with an “accursed sting” in that it pricks our flesh or hurts our feelings, but does that require deep forgiveness? Maybe it just requires us to relax a little, not take ourselves and our opinions so seriously…to bless others, take it patiently, and endure it…that seems to sort of forgiveness God practices with us.

    As Josh said earlier, where is the line between practicing grace and mastering confrontation and where would God have us spend our energy?

  16. God was kind of talking to me about this but in the reverse sense. For the most part, people don’t bother me or when they do, I get over it and forgive. However, I’m more of the “instigator” or the offender in relationships I’ve had. It’s been hard for me to learn to guard my mouth, actions, promises, etc., and because of that, I’ve hurt people. God showed me a lot of people from Phoenix (and other places I’ve lived) that I’ve hurt in the past in one way or another, and though I’ve been forgiven (by Him) for my sins, He made it clear to never forget those people, and if the chance arises, to seek forgiveness from them. If God has something big for my life (which He’s told me), I need to make sure I’m right-standing with people I know or have known in case, someday, I get an opportunity of spiritual conversation with them albeit one-on-one or if I’m the pastor of a church, etc. So, yeah, there you go.

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