The previous lesson was all about what is Forgiveness…(If you missed that blog, you can read it here, it is called ★ Re|Engage – Forgiveness ★)…The main idea of Lesson 6 is:
“Forgiveness in action is a practical guide to ask for and extend forgiveness.”
This chapter was a real eye opener because it revealed that just throwing out a lukewarm “I’m sorry” is not acceptable. Instead, they offered 5 simple, but powerful steps to walk through.
If you are anything like me, you will love this lesson, because I am in need of instructions. As a man I like to “fix things,” which at times can be frustrating for my wife. Lesson 6 was the perfect solution, simple steps to follow to help the healing process.
Gary Thomas said,
“One of marriages primary responsibilities is to teach us how to forgive.”
Marriage can sometimes be a really pressure cooker when it comes to conflict. God’s game plan for marriage is for two people to unite and become “one flesh.” but the process of “becoming one” there definitely can be difficult times which is where forgiveness becomes the lynch pin that holds it all together.
The book asked these two questions which I will pass onto to you to ponder…
- What is most difficult about asking for forgiveness?
- What is most difficult about granting forgiveness?
Here is what Forgiveness In Action looks like…
Step 1 – I call it Self-Examination.
“Think about the ways you have hurt, disappointed, frustrated or not been truthful with your spouse.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) says,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
“The first stage to any reconciliation is to acknowledge where you have fallen short.”
Step 2 – Confession to God.
“No one likes to admit when they are wrong, and we certainly don’t like to confess it but God already knows. It is critical to confess to God.”
1 John 1:9 (NLT) has this incredible promise:
“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Step 3 – Confession to Your Spouse.
“No distractions and no excuses. Don’t rationalize why you hurt them, simply confess.” The lesson also reminded us that we need to humbly listen as our spouse expresses the hurt or disappointment they feel.
Step 4 – Ask Specifically for Forgiveness.
“Ask specifically for forgiveness and avoid ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I apologize.’”
Step 5 – Grant Forgiveness.
“If they have asked for forgiveness, we are to grant forgiveness specifically for what they asked. Remember that it is our responsibility to forgive.”
Step 6 – Repeat for Every Offense.
Don’t stop at just a couple but do the work to make sure you make amends for all the hurt that you caused. Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
In some supplemental reading I found this statement:
“If we will understand and be amazed by how we are forgiven, we will be able to extend forgiveness to others. Instead of asking, how could we ever forgive, the question then becomes, how could we not?”
Here are some great Scripture to Review:
I Peter 2:23
“He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.”
Romans 12:17-18 (NLT)
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
Hebrews 12:14-15 – A Call to Listen to God
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
If you would like to read the next installment to the re|engage class, click here… ★ Re|Engage – Commitment ★
If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here.
If you want to read more on Forgiveness click here…
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