One of the largest hindrances to our Christian growth is unforgiveness. I am not speaking "off the cuff" here, I am speaking from deep-rooted experience. Forgiveness is a topic that I had to walk through . . . crawl through . . . and learn about, the hard way! It is so very simple, that it is difficult! (As is most in our Christian walk!) The simplicity is this (I will share it now, and most likely many times throughout these lessons until we all understand it):
Forgiveness is an act of obedience, NOT something we necessarily "feel" like doing!
(for a wee bit of my own experience, you may visit this article)
Many of the "tools" I will be using in these lessons will be from my own struggle with unforgiveness, along with material I acquired through my Biblical Counseling Courses ( [*] credit given below). These are wonderful things the Lord allowed within my life to help me to be able to become free . . . free from the chains that hindered . . . [*] chains of unforgiveness (bitterness, anger, holding grudges, retaliation, etc.).
It would be so wonderful if I could have just shared with you that above statement and have that be that. You say "Yes!" and go on to a happy and fulfilling life totally free from unforgiveness . . . but, we are stubborn human creatures, and we need to examine thoroughly the evidence before us. Even then, sometimes, we struggle.
There are SO many aspects to forgiveness! (Forgiveness of sins - between us and the Lord; forgiveness we extend to others; forgiveness we need to seek from others; forgiveness we need to extend to ourselves; forgiveness extended to God - now, before you close the door on this particular aspect, it would be good for you to follow it through - God does NOT need to be forgiven; however, we may have anger towards Him due to certain circumstances . . . and we can free ourselves by making the choice to forgive . . . we'll get into that more, later.)
Let us take a look at three passages. What I would like for us to do is to read one at a time, perhaps several times, asking the Holy Spirit to open up the eyes of our understanding to receive all He has for us within the verses. Then, write out how it speaks to your own heart about forgiveness.
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