Last Sunday we continued our series called, “There’s an app for that!” by looking at our first app, forgiveness. And this week, as luck should have it, I came face-to-face with this very important forgiveness app: what it means to forgive and what it means to be forgiven.
I don’t know about you but I have made some pretty stupid mistakes. Out of sheer frustration, I said some things that I shouldn’t have to someone I care about. Words can be a dangerous thing, can’t they? Once they are out there, that’s it. The damage is done. In the moment I felt completely justified – this person had wronged me and I was hurt. But later, I felt horrible. I couldn’t sleep, I felt uneasy, and so I prayed that God would forgive me. More was required of me, and I knew that, after- all I just preached on it!
I knew what I needed to do.
So I picked up the phone, with sweaty palms, and did what I should have done the moment the words came out of my mouth. I apologized and I asked for forgiveness. The voice on the other end was quiet at first and then they expressed the same feelings and in turn asked forgiveness of me, which I truly didn’t expect. Forgive and be forgiven. A relationship has been restored.
The truth is that forgiveness is absolutely essential if we are to build community. Can we truly be in proper communion with God if the Lord does not forgive our sins? Can we build community, church, or family without forgiving each other? Can we maintain healthy Christian relationships with an unforgiving spirit?
It is easy to justify our behavior, to harden our hearts, or to even turn a blind eye to the wrong we do. Jesus, however, taught a radically different approach. Jesus taught about forgiveness. Check out Matthew 6: 12-15. Jesus was very clear about what we must do:
1. We need to come to God with our sin and ask for forgiveness (v. 12);
2. We need to turn away from sin (repent) and in doing so remember God’s promise that we will be forgiven (v. 14);
and here's the kicker,
3. Forgiven people forgive. God’s promise of forgiveness isn’t fulfilled until we forgive others (vs. 14-15).
None of this is to say that it’s easy. Picking up the phone to make the call was not something I looked forward to, on the contrary. But here’s the thing, if we are obedient God takes care of the rest!
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 Because, forgiven people forgive.
Join us this Sunday as we continue our series, There’s an app for that!
Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there. This Sunday we gather together for Amberlea’s Annual General Meeting (don’t role your eyes). It is important that you are there, and you won’t want to miss the fun surprises! We will break a wee bit early, grab some snacks and resume the worship service which will include the business of the church. You need not worry about your children, we’ve got that covered.
Come, see and hear how we, at Amberlea, are joining God in the amazing work that God is doing in the place.
Come expecting... amazing things!!!