Forgiving someone who has hurt you isn’t easy, and sometimes, it’s not necessarily fair, but God isn’t asking you to do anything He hasn’t done Himself every time He has forgiven us. Discover the incredible difference forgiving others will make in your life in this important and very compelling edition of Candid Conversations with Joyce.
Joyce. Thanks for sitting down with us for a candid conversation today. Sitting down, We want to talk about a hard one today and that is forgiveness. Now. You’ve taught on forgiveness a lot. We’ve learned so much about it, but I think of friends and different situations who have just been hurt so badly, um have lost a child to unnecessarily tragic accident or what you went through of course, talking so much about your father and when there’s that type of scar tissue on your heart from a wound like that. Sometimes even that first thought of forgiveness is almost like, no, you know, I can’t even go there. Like, it’s not even reasonable to ask me to do that, right? How how can God even want that for me? And yet we know that that is such an important step of healing. So we have a lot of people who are asking now you said that, How do I even begin that? A lot of people had questions about this exactly. When people, when we asked people if they could sit down with you and have a chat, this was one of the main topics that came up. They would like to talk to you about how can they forgive? I recommend that people look up all the scriptures in the bible about it because the word of God has power in it. And when you, when you look at the scriptures, I still like if I’m having an issue with something, let’s just say that I’m for some reason I get jealous of somebody, you know, I won’t just think, oh I shouldn’t be jealous, I shouldn’t be jealous. If I’m not getting rid of it, I’ll look up scriptures because there’s power in the word. That’s why it’s important for people to go to the word and to study the word on a regular basis. I love that because it’s deeper than this is where you find answers, right? You’ll find the answers, but in that there’s power to help you actually do it. Yeah, the bible says that the word of God is quick and powerful and alive and the amplified bible says its operative and I always say the word will operate on you. God will, you know, use it to cut things out of you that don’t belong into at the same time, hell you of old wounds and things that need to be healed in your life. And so I don’t think a person can forgive unless they really, really want to do what God wants them to do. And now what you said there is different than wanting to forgive, right? They have to want what God wants them to do because you may, you know, you may not want to forgive, but you want to please God, you want to do what he asked you to do. You want to be obedient to him. And so if he says he wants you to forgive, then that’s the end of it one way or the other with God’s help, I’m gonna learn how to do it because I’ve already set myself to be obedient to God. And when you forgive somebody that’s treated you unjustly, I don’t know that it’s ever gonna be fair in the way we look at fair, but if you want to go there, I mean, what Jesus did for us certainly wasn’t fair. That’s a really good point to him. And so if people will think about that, That will help them. John 10 10 says the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. But jesus said I came, I came and just those two words I came, it amazes me that he came down here. I mean, there’s no, there’s no real correlation. We can make that even makes any sense. It would be like me giving my life for an ant. You know, it’s like he’s he didn’t have to do this. I mean in the garden of Gethsemane, he said, Father, if you can remove this cup from me, nevertheless your will be done and not mine. And actually he didn’t just take our sin. He became sin. He that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made. The righteousness of God in christ. So what was it like for this holy one to actually become sin? I heard someone say a few days ago that he absorbed our sin and I thought that’s that’s a great way to put it. So in the old testament, sin could be covered by sacrifices, but under the new covenant, it’s completely removed and the bible says that God moves it as far as the east is from the west remembers it no more. He never mentions it to you or brings it up. So first thing that helps me is to really think, you know, sometimes people need to take the time to just sit and do some contemplative thinking to just think about, okay, God is not asking me to do something that he hasn’t done. You know, he he forgives me so is what that person did to me any worse than what I do too, God, you know, So let me just be kind of the other side of this and say, well I’ve never done some of these things, you know, I’ve never killed anyone or physically abused anyone. So some people would say yes, there is a difference between what I’ve done and yet God is taking all of that sin. You know, God took the weight of the entire world, past, present and future sin and you think about what that would feel like. You know, there’s no way for us to understand that, but to take that step that you’re saying of how vast that is and how there is no fairness in any of that. So the fact that it applies to me at all, whatever I’ve done is overwhelming exactly, there’s not big, little small, large. Now there are sins that will have greater repercussions, you know, than than other sins, but sin is still sin and and and the bible talks about that we sin in thought word and deed. So um like for example those thoughts sins yeah, in Matthew when jesus was teaching in the sermon on the mount, he said you know that if the old testament says if you commit adultery, but he said I say if you think about it, yeah, that is no different than doing it. So is there any human on the earth that can say they’ve never sinned and thought no jealousy is a sin, lying is a sin, you know, so sin is just sin and there’s we all sin all have seem to come short of the glory of God, therefore all are justified and made right through the sacrifice of jesus christ so we’ve all sinned and we can all be forgiven and so therefore I have to first look at that, I have to want to obey God and then I look at that, I look at the word and then I make a decision that even though it’s not fair and even though it may seem unreasonable that God’s not asking me to do anything that he has not done himself and forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation of the relationship. I think a lot of people think well if I forgive that I have to take that person back into my life. God’s not asking you to bring somebody back into your life. That was abusive to you are, that’s just going to continue to talk down to you or you know, verbally abuse you on a regular basis. That’s that’s not what he’s asking you to do. But he’s asking you to maybe understand that hurting people hurt people. That that was very helpful to me with my dad because he wasn’t raised properly either. And there was incest in his family bloodline. And so I don’t know what all he saw or what all he experienced and it’s not my job to know, it’s not my place to know I’m not that’s a big statement. We’re not God, you know, and and God is asking me to forgive and I don’t really need to even know why that’s the way he wants it done. But I don’t want people to go to hell, I didn’t want my dad to go to hell. I wanted him to be forgiven and through loving him, learning how to love somebody who really didn’t deserve love. He did eventually see the goodness of God and receive christ and is in heaven now, and that’s that’s much better than hating him my whole life and you know, actually lowering myself to the same position that he was in. And not only that if people could just get this when you forgive you’re not really doing the other person a favor. That’s the thing. People have to understand. It’s like, well they don’t deserve that and I’m not gonna do that for them and that’s not right. You’re not doing it for them anyway, you’re actually doing it for yourself. When God tells you to forgive, he’s telling you something that’s going to help you because there’s nothing worse than carrying that bitterness and resentment and hatred around on the inside of you day after day and year after year, when you can let go of that and put the person in God’s hands and pray for them that they will come to know christ as our savior and be blessed. I think another thing that really helps in the area of forgiveness is to stop talking to other people about what so and so did to you because the more we talk about it, it’s like picking a scab off the wound and we just keep make it, I mean if you, if you have a wound and you get a scab and you pick it off, you’re actually just gonna make the scar bigger and bigger and bigger. And so the thing to do is to forgive as quickly as you possibly can because the quicker you do it, the easier it’s going to be to do it. And then I also believe that if you pray for people that have hurt you, it is very difficult to pray for somebody and hate them at the same time. Now I know it’s not easy, but when we get around to, but it’s so hard, we’re talking about our feelings not our decisions and you can forgive people and be around them and not feel any different. You know my mother asked me one time how did I feel about her? Because she knew my dad was sexually abusing me and she didn’t do anything about it and I was honest with her, I said you know I don’t I can’t love you. Like I would love a mother who protected me and took care of me. But I said you are God’s child and he sent jesus to die for you and I love you because I love him and I will always make sure that you’re taken care of because I feel that’s what God would have me do. So I never had any. I can’t really say that. I mean I went to the nursing home at least every other week to see my mom. I paid the bills there for many years, made sure she had clothes, made sure she went to the doctor, I made sure she was taken care of and I did that because of my love for God, not because of a gooey feeling I had about her. And I can’t really say that there was ever a time when I went to visit that I was like, oh boy today I get to go visit my mom because she never really was my mom. I didn’t have bad feelings toward her but I didn’t have loving feelings toward her either. So people I think get mixed up maybe about how they’re supposed to feel if they forgive somebody. And it’s almost like how will I live without this anger and hatred? Because those feelings are so strong, right? And it’s just not fair. And you know, when are they gonna get theirs? And there’s no telling how many people today ginger that are watching us that are angry at people for minor offenses today. People get offended so easy and they’re so touchy. And then there’s there’s horrible things that have happened to people that they’ve managed to work through and forgive people far. And it’s really a matter of desire. I mean, if you really want to do what God wants you to do, you will find a way to do it. And like you were saying, the the difference that it makes in your life is so much greater than anything. You can imagine the reasoning behind there’s not only how to make it happen, that God walks us through it and makes it possible, but the reason that he asks us to do something so hard is out of his great love for us knowing what is best for us, even in the most terrible situations, we have to be careful about our thinking, you know, I could think, well, you know, that’s not right. My dad’s in heaven and and he was mean all of his life and he made he he ruined so many lives so many lives that I mean my brother ended up taking his own life and that was partially because of the way my dad raised him and my mother’s life was destroyed. Part of that was her own fault because she wouldn’t get away from him. But he just he did so many bad things and yet he’s in heaven Same place that I’ll go after preaching for 45 or 50 years. But I’m not God. It’s it’s really none of my business. You know, there’s a story in the Bible about laborers that were hired some early in the morning and they worked all day, some were hired at the 11th hour and they only worked one hour and they got the same pay as the one who worked all day. And and they thought that was unfair and the master said, am I not able, can I not be good to who I want to be good to? And so God is good and it’s it’s it’s his business if that’s what he wants to do. I think sometimes we have a few too many questions that we don’t, we don’t need to be asking and we need to realize how powerful God is and have a little bit more that reverential fear and all and just be glad that he it is good that he forgives us for our sins. Well I think there’s such a foundation and you sharing this story because you’ve lived it from both sides. So, I do really appreciate having this conversation with you because you’re a person who understands how hard it is and the incredible difference that ginger every once in a while I’ll think about something my dad did to me and you know how her mind likes to drift off and and I’ll just think how much I hated him. Oh my gosh! I mean, I just I hated him so bad. And to think that God is able to lift that out of us and and and take it away. So I don’t have to have that horrible feeling on the end. I mean, for God to be able to give somebody the grace to love somebody that’s done that to them how amazing miracle, how amazing that is. And I know that there are a lot of people watching that you need to forgive somebody. And you may be thinking, well, I just can’t well, that’s your first mistake. You don’t ever want to think that you can’t do something that God has told you to do, because God will never tell us to do anything that’s impossible. It may be impossible with man. But it is possible with God