Martin Luther said that our whole life should be one of repentance. True repentance happens when we come to our senses about our sinfulness, grieve at the sin itself and not just the negative consequences that result from it, and seek forgiveness first from God and then from those we’ve hurt. Repentance is vital to the Christian life because it reconnects us more deeply to the truth that our strength comes not from our own record of moral achievement, but from the record of Jesus Christ.
‘I think forgiveness is a great idea until you have someone to forgive, and then it is very difficult”
‘There are consequences to the choices we make. Forgiveness and forgiving people does not overrule those consequences. But it is still the right thing to do.’
When Ed Dobson was told that his life would be over in a few short years, he found his priorities drastically rearranged. Wanting to mend relationships, he decided some things were more important than who was right and who was wrong.
“Ask Forgiveness” is an episode of Ed’s Story that touches on his journey of asking forgiveness from those he knew he had offended. He made a list and worked his way through it – one-by-one and face-to-face. It is a great watch. It changed my life! Ed Dobson (1949-2015)
3 tests for Unforgiveness
Resentment test. Is there some who you have never let off the hook for what they have done to you parent, brother, sister, friend, teacher.
Responsibility test. If only my parents, my wife, my children, life, God had given me what they owed me, I would not be in this mess today. I would not have all these problems. If they had given me the love owed me, if they had paid in full, then I would not be like this.
Reaction test. Do you find yourself reacting to someone in a strong way and realize your reaction is bigger than the issue at hand. Why do I feel this way? Most likely it is because they remind you of someone who you have not forgiven. Maybe your co-worker lets you down in a small way. Find this deep well of anger surfacing. Their actions or maybe their personality is reminding you of someone you have not forgiven.