Category Archives: Forgiveness

Eight Words We All Need to Say

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10).

Whenever there is contention, anger or bitterness, you can know that pride is certainly involved. Pride destroys marriages and families. Pride is unteachable. It refuses to see its own problems. Pride is quick to blame others and refuses to take responsibility.

No conflict will ever get resolved while blaming others for all the problems.

We need to examine ourselves. Certainly there may be more fault on one side than there is on the other, but virtually always there is some fault on both sides. And good relationships are not built by two people who never do anything wrong. Good relationships are built by people who aren’t too proud to admit where they are wrong and try to make it right.

Maybe you are only 5% responsible and your spouse or some other family member shares 95% of the blame. Don’t focus on the 95% of that other person. That’s their problem. That’s their responsibility and God will hold them accountable for that. Focus instead on your own wrong actions or attitudes that make up that 5% and take full responsibility for them.

Be willing to humble yourself and to go to that person with whom you are having the conflict and without mentioning their offenses, humbly and meekly take responsibility for your own.

It’s amazing how many times, all it takes is for someone to assume full responsibility for their own sin, and God will begin to heal the hurts and bitterness and restore that broken relationship.

There are eight words that every married person ought to learn to say regularly – “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Forgiveness Is Like a Coin

Forgiveness is like a coin – there are two sides to it. These two sides of forgiveness are vital for each of us to understand if we are going to live Biblically and build strong, healthy relationships. Not only should forgiveness be shown to an offender, but a person must ask for forgiveness for the wrong he or she has done to someone else (Matthew 5:23-24).

It takes humility and strength of character to admit when we have done or said something wrong and offended a family member or someone at church. Strong, healthy relationships are built on a willingness to both forgive and to ask for forgiveness when offenses occur. The strongest relationships are not between those who never hurt or offend one another – such relationships don’t exist (Philippians 2:21) – but between those who ask each other’s forgiveness on a regular basis.

Pride keeps us back from asking forgiveness or even thinking that we need to ask for forgiveness. When there is pride, we tend to be more critical and judgemental of others. On the other hand, people who realize they are wrong and ask for forgiveness develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be forgiven. It is out of this experience of needing forgiveness that a person learns how to truly forgive those who have hurt him or her.

Scripture says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Pray Your Children Will Learn to Forgive

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).

If you aren’t praying for your children, then who is? Given the pressures placed upon young people in our society today, your children need prayer! And if you aren’t praying daily for them, then it is very likely that they have no one else to plead for them before the throne of grace.
But what should you be praying for your children?

Pray that they will forgive those that have hurt and offended them. Scripture warns of the consequences of unforgiveness. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

As I counsel with people and as we work through the area of bitterness, the two people usually on the top of their list are Mom and Dad! Parents, make sure you maintain a clear conscience with your children. Do not allow Satan to use your failure or your refusal to ask forgiveness as a means of gaining “ground” (Ephesians 4:27) in your children’s lives!

If you are aware of any occasion in which you have hurt or offended one of your children, then you need to humble yourself and ask that son or that daughter’s forgiveness. Even if you’re not aware of any offences, get alone with each child and ask them if there has ever been a time when you have wronged them and never made it right. Be prepared to humble yourself and take responsibility for your wrong words, actions or attitudes and say, “I was wrong! Will you please forgive me?”

If you have disciplined your child in anger, you are sowing the seeds of bitterness and rebellion in the heart of that child. Take responsibility for your anger and ask forgiveness. Your anger is just as wrong as any offense they may have committed. Don’t rationalize the situation by saying, “I was wrong BUT you were too.” Just focus on your own wrong words, actions or attitudes. This is the starting point for rebuilding broken relationships.

By humbling yourself and clearing your conscience, you then give them the opportunity to deal with any bitterness they may be harboring.

It is absolutely essential that you pray for your children. Because if you aren’t praying for your children, then who is?

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Persuading Others by Going the Second Mile

During New Testament times, Roman soldiers had the authority to compel any Hebrew boy twelve years or older to carry his heavy military pack one mile in any direction. The Jews already hated this occupying force and this law added insult to injury. Jesus taught his disciples to carry it two miles. Carrying the pack for one mile was simply doing what was expected of them, but going the second mile provided the opportunity to witness when the soldier would ask, “Why are you doing this?”

Our willingness to “go the second mile” is one of the most persuasive ways of demonstrating the love of Christ and our willingness to forgive.

Tension Is Cumulative

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes” (Song of Solomon 2:15).

For many couples, holy wedlock has become an unholy deadlock.

There are many reasons why marriages experience tension, but it usually begins with, what may be regarded as, little offenses. Severe damage is then done to the relationship over a prolonged period of time when these offenses are ignored or even considered irrelevant. Every husband and wife needs to be aware that any offense committed against their partner – no matter how small – has the potential of producing devastating consequences in their marriage.

One little offense after another produces tension in the relationship. That tension is cumulative; and this is the reason why a list of minor offenses over a period of time produces a build-up of tension that can destroy a marriage.

If offenses are not dealt with properly, and forgiveness is not sought or given, then that tension will not go away! The cumulative tension has the potential to break and destroy that relationship.

Marriages are not destroyed overnight. They break down and are destroyed, many times, because of this cumulative effect of tension in the relationship. Past hurts have not been properly resolved, and added to that is the guilt from the wrong responses to those hurts.

Ask the Lord to bring to your mind past word, actions, or attitudes that may have hurt your spouse. And no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, humble yourself and take responsibility for causing that offense and ask forgiveness.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

God Loves Humility

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6)

God loves humility. He hates pride – but He loves humility. This is the starting point for rebuilding broken relationships in your family.

One of Satan’s most effective ways to destroy or weaken your effectiveness as a parent is to erect barriers between you and your children. Some of the most difficult words we will ever have to say are, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

Most family conflicts could be resolved and even avoided right here! If you have wronged a member of your family, humble yourself and ask their forgiveness.

James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud…” If God is for you, it doesn’t make any difference who is against you; but if God is resisting you, it doesn’t make any difference who is for you. And when does God resist us the most? When we’re proud!

But James goes on to say that God “giveth grace unto the humble.” Grace is the desire and the power that God gives us to do His will (Philippians 2:13). The way then to deal with pride and to get more grace (more desire and more enabling power to do what is right) is to humble ourselves by taking responsibility for our wrong actions and words and attitudes.

Some of the most successful marriages and families are those that follow through and ask each other forgiveness several times each week. There is no such thing as the perfect family. We all make mistakes. But God wants us to develop the Christ-like quality of humility. He wants us to humble ourselves; and through that demonstration of humility, He will bind and knit our hearts together.

Don’t wait for the other person to make it right. Take the initiative by taking responsibility, and help restore that broken relationship today.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Don’t Get Offended!

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).

We offend one another regularly by our wrong words, actions and attitudes. Some times we even offend people by doing what is right. Jesus offended people regularly by speaking the truth. It is so easy to offend other people. Especially if you’re in leadership, you’ll understand that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can sure make them all mad at you.

Many are offended by the Gospel message. Jesus said in Matthew 11:6, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Now, for fear of offending anyone, we dilute the Gospel message so much that it no longer has the power to save because we fail to talk about sin and judgment and personal responsibility. But the Bible tells us that the Gospel will offend. We just need to make sure that if people are going to take offense, that it’s because of the conviction brought about by the message, and not because of the wrong attitudes of the messenger. That’s why the Bible tells us that we are to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

The word “offense” means a stumbling block: something that can cause you to fall and bring about your ruin.

It’s common for people to think that whenever there is a conflict between two people that the offender is the one with the spiritual problem. But the person against whom the offense was committed has an even greater potential for sin. The offender may or may not have done wrong. If he has done wrong, he needs to take responsibility for his wrong words or actions or attitudes and he needs to make it right. But the person who has been offended needs to be on his guard.

As Jesus has His last parting words with His disciples in the upper room just before His crucifixion, He says in John 16:1, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.” A spirit-filled follower of Jesus Christ is not easily offended because he realizes that God uses even our enemies and critics to accomplish His purposes in our lives. A true Spirit-filled Christian will not take up an offense against someone or on behalf of someone else. Certainly there are going to be disagreements, but the moment that disagreement turns contentious, the moment there is bitterness or hatred then you have stepped across a line that can bring all kinds of destruction to your relationships.

Let’s not be so easily offended by others. Remember that we are all in process. Let’s be as patient and kind with each other as the Lord is with us.

Love Your Enemies

It’s one thing to be kind and loving to people who are kind and loving to us. It’s quite another thing to be kind and loving to those who wrong us or hurt us. Yet that is exactly what Jesus commands us to do when He says, “Love your enemies.”

Two farmers lived side by side on land that was divided by a shallow river. One day the cows belonging to one crossed the river and ruined half an acre of the other farmer’s corn. The man who owned the field was so angry, he locked the cows in his barn, made the first farmer pay for all the damage, and held the animals hostage until a high ransom was paid for them. Later that year, some hogs belonging to the second farmer crossed the stream and caused a lot of damage on the property of the man who owned the cows. Although the man was disturbed, he rounded up the hogs and took them back to their own pen. When the owner saw them coming, he expected trouble. But he soon discovered that his neighbor had no intention of harming him or his animals. He asked, “How can you be so kind to me after the way I treated you?” The man replied, “Because I’m a Christian!” That evening the unsaved farmer and his wife paid a visit to the home of their neighbor. And before they left, they had both accepted Christ.

This farmer was willing to follow the teaching of Jesus and voluntarily invested in the life of his enemy. This is a step that is often overlooked by many people, but it is absolutely essential if we are to turn our bitterness into forgiveness and genuine love.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Mat 5:44).

Webster’s Greatest Thought

Someone once asked Daniel Webster, “What is the greatest thought that you have ever had?” He said, “The most awesome, the most terrifying, the most shattering thought I’ve ever had, is my personal responsibility to God.”

The Bible makes it clear that we are each responsible for five things. Each one of us as Christians will be held responsible for every thought (2 Cor 10:4-5), word (Mat 12:36), deed (2 Cor 5:10), attitude (Phl 2:5), and motive (Jer 17:9-10).

In our culture of blame and civil law suits, people refuse to accept responsibility for anything. I heard one pastor say, “I could be a great pastor if it wasn’t for my congregation.” I suppose we could also say, “I could be a great father if it wasn’t for my kids” or “I could be a great husband if it wasn’t for my wife.”

But if there is ever going to be any hope of restoring broken relationships, we need to take full responsibility for our own wrong actions and words and attitudes. As long as we are focusing on the offenses of others, our conflicts will never get resolved.

Don’t wait for the other person to make it right – it may never happen. He may be 95% to blame and you may only be 5% responsible; but take responsibility for your 5% and fully forgive his 95%.

Giving Last Slice of Bread

“I have seen Christians in communist prisons with 50 pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold, and praying with fervor for the communists…Afterward, the communists came to prison too. Now the tortured and the torturers were in the same cell. And while the non-Christians beat them, Christians took their defense. I have seen Christians giving away their last slice of bread (we had at that time one slice a week) and the medicine which could save their lives to a sick communist torturer who was now a fellow-prisoner.”

-Richard Wurmbrand

“Here’s My Hand”

F. B. Meyer told of a revival meeting that was dragging along without signs of success until one evening an elder arose and said, “Pastor, I don’t believe there is going to be a revival as long as Brother Jones and I don’t speak to each other.” He went to Jones and said: “Brother Jones, we have not spoken for five years, let’s bury the hatchet. Here’s my hand.” A sob broke from the audience. Soon another elder arose and said: “Pastor, I’ve been saying mean things about you behind your back and nice things to your face. I want you to forgive me.” Many arose and confessed their wrongs and God began to visit them. A revival swept over the community for three years.

-Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations

Having a Clear Conscience

Having a conscience free from guilt means clearing all offenses against others and, where possible, seeking forgiveness and making restitution. God is involved in this process, as shown below.

1. If someone you know was making a list of people who had hurt them and never asked their forgiveness, would you be on that list? Pray, asking God to reveal anyone who might feel you hurt them.

2. Make a list of all the people God brings to your mind whom you have offended and have not sought forgiveness from.

3. If possible, go over your list with a mature Christian and identify the basic offense against each person on that list. If you need to ask God’s forgiveness for these offenses, do so now. It’s always the right time to get right with God.

4. Rule out those people in whose lives your reappearance now would cause serious difficulty; for example, an old girlfriend who is now married.

5. Contact those individuals by telephone if possible, and be brief. Tell the particular person that as you have been looking back over your life, you realize that you failed him in _________ way, naming the offense. Then ask for forgiveness.

6. Make restitution where needed.

7. If certain people have benefited you but you’ve never shown appreciation, express to them gratitude for what you have gained. If you have a problem with being grateful, start sending thank-you notes to people who have benefited you, sharing how God has used them to build, strengthen, or challenge you.

8. Ask God to take back all ground given to Satan because you have purposed in your heart to contact these people and make things right.

Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan

The Humble Things Are The Great Things of The Christian Life

Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” What comes to mind when you read that verse?

I used to think that Paul was talking about the great things of the Christian life. We can do the little and mundane things by ourselves and we just need God’s help for those overwhelming projects and those challenging people.

However, the context of this verse is not the great things but the humiliating things. Paul says, “I know…how to be abased…to be hungry… and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).

God loves humility (He hates pride; but He loves humility!). This is the starting point for rebuilding broken relationships.

Some of the most difficult words we will ever have to say are, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” You know, most family conflicts could be resolved and even avoided right here! If you have wronged someone in your family, if you’ve hurt them or embarrassed them or offended them or disciplined them in anger, then you need to take responsibility and humble yourself and ask their forgiveness.

It’s as we are willing to humble ourselves before God and before others that God gives us grace. James 4:6 says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

You say, “I just can’t do that. There’s no way I could ever ask for forgiveness.” Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Some of the most successful marriages and families are those that ask each other forgiveness several times each week. There is no such thing as the perfect family. We all make mistakes. But God wants us to develop the quality of humility. He wants us to humble ourselves; and through that demonstration of humility, He will bind and knit our hearts together.

Whatever relationship may be damaged – it can be healed and repaired if we are willing to humble ourselves and take responsibility for our hurtful words, actions and attitudes.

Morris Hull – Home Life Ministries

Be Alert to Signs of Anger

“Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Eph 4:26)

Many people have used Ephesians 4:26 to justify their anger; however, our anger is never justified. James 1:20 says, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Our anger is always carnal and it will never accomplish anything good. The following Scriptures reveal God’s perspective on anger:

  • Psalm 37:8 says, “cease from anger and forsake wrath.”
  • Proverbs 19:19 says, “a man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.”
  • Proverbs 27: 4 says, “wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous.”
  • Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
  • Galatians 5: 19-20 says,  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, etc.”
  • Ephesians 4: 31 says, “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger… be put away from you.”
  • Colossians 3: 8 says, “but now ye put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication ….”
  • Titus 1:7 gives one of the qualifications for a church leader: “not soon angry.”  That means “not prone to anger.”
  • James 1:20 says, “for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

The initial emotion of anger and its accompanying physiological signs are not wrong. They are “red flags” that God uses to alert us that we are about to do or say something that will have devastating consequences. Some physical signs of anger include:

  • clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth
  • stomach ache
  • increased and rapid heart rate
  • sweating, especially your palms
  • feeling hot in the neck/face
  • shaking or trembling
  • dizziness

Emotionally you may feel:

  • like you want to get away from the situation
  • irritated
  • sad or depressed
  • guilty
  • resentful
  • anxious
  • like striking out verbally or physically

Be Alert to the Following Ways Parents Can Provoke Their Children to Anger

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) –

  • By modeling anger. Proverbs 22:24-25
  • By not having marital harmony. Hebrews 12:15
  • By consistently disciplining in anger. Psalm 6:1; 38:1
  • By being inconsistent with discipline. Ecclesiastes 8:11
  • By having double standards. Matthew 23:1-4; Philippians 4:9
  • By not admitting when wrong. Matthew 5:23-26; Job 32:2; James 5:16
  • By constantly finding fault. Job 32:2-3
  • By reversing God-given roles. Ephesians 5:22-24; Genesis 3:16
  • By not listening to the child’s opinion or the child’s side of the story. Proverbs 18:13,17
  • By comparing them to others. 2 Corinthians 10:12
  • By not having time to talk with them. Ephesians 5:18
  • By not praising the child. 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Revelation 2,3
  • By failing to keep promises. Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9; Psalm 15:4
  • By scolding him/her in front of others. Matthew 18:15; John 21:15-17
  • By giving too much freedom. Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 4:1-2
  • By being too strict. James 3:17
  • By making fun of the child. Job 17:1-2
  • By abusing them physically. 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7; Numbers 22
  • By calling them names. Ephesians 4:29
  • By having unrealistic expectations. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Common Ways Parents Provoke Children to Anger

  • By modelling anger. Proverbs 22:24-25
  • By not having marital harmony. Genesis 2:24 (Repeated four times in the Bible); Hebrews 12:15
  • By consistently disciplining in anger. Psalm 6:1; 38:1
  • By being inconsistent with discipline. Ecclesiastes 8:11
  • By having double standards. Matthew 23:1-4; Philippians 4:9
  • By not admitting when wrong. Matthew 5:23-26; Job 32:2; James 5:16
  • By constantly finding fault. Job 32:2-3
  • By reversing God-given roles. Ephesians 5:22-24; Genesis 3:16
  • By not listening to the child’s opinion or the child’s side of the story. Proverbs 18:13,17
  • By comparing them to others. 2 Corinthians 10:12
  • By not having time to talk with them. Ephesians 5:18
  • By not praising the child. 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Revelation 2,3
  • By failing to keep promises. Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3:9; Psalm 15:4
  • By scolding him/her in front of others. Matthew 18:15; John 21:15-17
  • By giving too much freedom. Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 4:1-2
  • By being too strict. James 3:17
  • By making fun of the child. Job 17:1-2
  • By abusing them physically. 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7; Numbers 22
  • By calling them names. Ephesians 4:29
  • By having unrealistic expectations. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Be Like Jesus

“And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  (Acts 4:13).

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of Him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of Him; he is like Him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and every-day actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate Him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in His holiness. Was He zealous for His Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was He self-denying, never looking to His own interest? Be the same. Was He devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had He deference to His Father’s will? So submit yourselves to Him. Was He patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as He did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is godlike. Be godlike, then; and in all ways and by all means, so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.”

Morning & Evening: Daily Readings

Ten Steps to Conquer the Spirit of Anger

Several people have asked if there were some key steps they could follow to conquer a spirit of anger.

1 -Recognize the problem and its seriousness.

It’s time we recognized anger for the devastating curse it is. Denial destroys hope for help. I have dealt with people who honestly don’t want to admit they have a problem in this area.

I talked to a father and mother with a rebellious 16 year old daughter. After a few minutes on the telephone I asked, “Sir, do you have a problem with anger?”

He quickly replied, “No, I don’t.”

His wife meekly said, “Well, maybe just a little problem.”

He snapped back at her “No, I don’t.”

I said, “Sir, may I be very honest with you?”

“Of course.”

“Sir, you have one of the biggest problems with anger of any man I have ever spoken to!”

“How can you say that when you’ve only been talking to me for a few minutes?”

“Sir, you don’t even know me. But you’ve rebuked your wife three times in my presence in less then ten minutes. Sir, you have a huge problem with anger!”

That father had already sent his daughter away to a girl’s home for over a year. She had come home changed. But in three months she had become a rebel again. He wanted to know if he should send her away a second time. I said, “Sir, the problem is not your daughter’s, it’s your’s. Don’t create a sense of rejection in your daughter by sending her away again. It would not be “just” to send her away when this is your problem.” I told another father with a similar problem who refused to take action that he was the one who needed to be sent away, not his daughter!

Ask your wife if you have a problem with anger. If she answers, “Well maybe just a little bit.” You probably have a huge problem. She’s probably too afraid of your anger to tell you.

Remember that there is no such thing as a “little” anger.

2 -Desire victory enough to cry out to God.

The truth is, there are many who have the problem, know they have the problem, but don’t really want victory. They enjoy the fear their anger creates in others. They also enjoy the carnal power that their anger gives them to control others.

3 -Repent of the sin.

Say to God, “I want to turn from this sin.”

4 -Confess the sins of forefathers and ask God in the Name and through the power of the blood of Jesus to break any curse coming down the generations.

In Neh. 1:6 Nehemiah prayed, “both I and my father’s house have sinned.”

5 -Ask God to take back the ground Satan has taken because of anger.

Remember that Eph. 4:26 says: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the son go down upon your wrath.” The very next verse says, “Neither give place to the devil.”

Whenever some one or some thing causes you to become angry then Satan is able at that time to take ground in your life.

6 -See the connection between anger and lust in Matt. 5:21-32.

Remember that Jesus is dealing with the letter of the law and the spirit of the law in this passage. “He that is angry with his brother without a cause” is describing a spirit of anger.

When lust prevails, so does anger. Lust creates an insensitivity in the spirit that causes a person to be more likely to respond wrongly to God and to others.

Lust and anger are like twin sins. Wherever you see one, the other is probably also somewhere around.

7 -Watch for people and things that are going to come your way to make you angry.

The meaning of Ephesians 4:26 is that you are definitely going to have things coming your way that could possibly create anger you. God is saying, “Be aware of this and don’t sin and don’t give ground to Satan. Use the impulse to get angry as a signal to yield to God and to answer softly. “A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.” Pro 15:1

Few things have as much power to make you angry as anger in someone else.

8 -Purpose to enter the presence of family members and business associates with praise.

Psalm 100:4 gives the principle: “Enter into His presence with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.”

You should come into the presence of those you admire and love and respect with praise.

The first words to each family member each day should be words of praise. Those words then “set the stage” for the rest of the relationships that day.

Praise is a motivator. Praise is a magnet that draws hearts to you. Praise is also a defense for you against wrong words and attitudes.

9 -Ask God daily to fill you with His Spirit and to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Every morning I ask God to “Produce in me the fruit of the Holy Spirit.” Then I pray to God that fruit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” As I pray, I picture that fruit in my life. I picture my countenance and actions portraying that fruit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the opposite of the works of the flesh, and there’s something powerful about just praying about it and meditating on it.

10 -Make yourself fully accountable.

If you realize you’ve had a really serious problem in this area, then you may want to ask your mate daily at first whether she sensed any spirit of anger in you that day. Offer no defense, but only gratefulness for correction. Be humble to ask for and accept correction from your mate, your children, and perhaps others. A Pastor may want to set up some type of accountability with some key person he trusts in his church.

I’ve been preaching the message “How to Win the Heart of a Rebel” for several years now. I’ve seen many Fathers who know they have problems with rebellious sons or daughters, but few who are willing to do what they need to do to deal with the problem. Many men and women are coming to realize they have a problem with anger whether or not they have rebellious youth. I plead with you to deal with it. It is limiting your potential and damaging your children regardless of their ages. You would not allow an X rated movie to play in your home. You would not allow an idol to stay in your home. You would not allow a witch to stay in your home. You must not allow anger to stay in your home.

-from the message “Victory over the Spirit of Anger” by Dr. S.M. Davis

Having a Clear Conscience – The Other Side of Forgiveness

Having a conscience free from guilt means clearing all offenses against others and, where possible, seeking forgiveness and making restitution. God is involved in this process, as shown below.

1. If someone you know was making a list of people who had hurt them and never asked their forgiveness, would you be on that list? Pray, asking God to reveal anyone who might feel you hurt them.

2. Make a list of all the people God brings to your mind whom you have offended and have not sought forgiveness from.

3. If possible, go over your list with a mature Christian and identity the basic offense against each person on that list. If you need to ask God’s forgiveness for these offenses, do so now. It’s always the right time to get right with God.

4. Rule out those people in whose lives your reappearance now would cause serious difficulty; for example, an old girlfriend who is now married.

5. Contact those individuals by telephone if possible, and be brief. Tell the particular person that as you have been looking back over your life, you realize that you failed him in _________ way, naming the offense. Then ask for forgiveness.

6. Make restitution where needed.

7. If certain people have benefited you but you’ve never shown appreciation, express to them gratitude for what you have gained. If you have a problem with being grateful, start sending thank-you notes to people who have benefited you, sharing how God has used them to build, strengthen, or challenge you.

8. Ask God to take back all ground given to Satan because you have purposed in your heart to contact these people and make things right.

-Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan

How to Remove Bitterness – One Side of Forgiveness

If you have not forgiven someone, it’s likely you harbor an unforgiving spirit and bitterness, for as time passes the resentment over an offense deepens into bitterness. You must forgive. Here’s how.

1. Ask God to reveal to your mind the people against whom you are holding feelings that are not right. Make a list of the name(s) as God reveals them. Also, check yourself to see if you are holding any bitterness toward God or yourself, and include these names on your list if that is the case.

2. Start at the bottom of the list, because these are usually the people who are easier to forgive. As you work your way up the list, tell God you forgive each person and release the hurts to Him. That’s forgiving from your heart. We are bitter for a reason, and we must get in touch with pain-that is, the reasons we are bitter.

3. If after forgiving the person for the major offense you recall a specific, hurtful incident, don’t let your feelings smolder anew. Instead, release them to God then and there. In my experience with my own father I found that after dealing with the major offenses, I would remember days or weeks later a specific incident. I would stop and pray “God, I forgive my dad for (the specific offense) also.” You only need to deal with the things God brings to your remembrance.

4. Tell God you are willing to live with the ongoing consequences of the offender’s action and share these with Him in prayer.

5. Ask God to take back the ground you have given Satan through unforgiveness, then turn around and reach for the things that are ahead.

6. If some future action of a person you have forgiven triggers painful memories and you are tempted to pick up past bitterness, release this temptation to God on the spot.

-Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan

Forgiveness of Enemies

Exodus 23:4,5; Proverbs 19:11; 24:17,29; 25:21,22; Ecclesiastes 7:21; Matthew 5:7,39-41,43-48; 6:12,14,15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25,26; Luke 6:27-37; 11:4; 17:3,4; Romans 12:14,17,19-21; 1 Corinthians 4:12,13; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Philemon 1:10-18; 1 Peter 3:9

INSTANCES OF

  • ·         Esau forgives Jacob Genesis 33:4,11
  • ·         Joseph forgives his brothers Genesis 45:5-15; 50:19-21
  • ·         Moses forgives the Israelites Numbers 12:1-13
  • ·         David forgives Saul 1 Samuel 24:10-12; 26:9,23; 2 Samuel 1:14-17
  • ·         David forgives Shimei 2 Samuel 16:9-13; 19:23; with 1 Kings 2:8,9
  • ·         Solomon forgives Adonijah 1 Kings 1:53
  • ·         The prophet of Judah forgives Jeroboam 1 Kings 13:3-6
  • ·         Jesus forgives his enemies Luke 23:34

-NAVES CONCISE TOPICAL BIBLE

Two Sides to Forgiveness

There are two sides of forgiveness which are vital for everyone to understand. Not only should forgiveness be shown to an offender, but a person must ask for forgiveness for the wrong he or she has done to someone else. It takes humility to admit a wrong action, statement, or thought, but the trust that is established is well worth the effort. Healthy relationships are built on a willingness to both forgive and to ask for forgiveness when offenses occur.

Those who have a prideful attitude, supposing they do not need forgiveness, tend to be more critical and judge others more harshly. In order to maintain a “high” self-esteem, they tend to find faults that put others down.

On the other hand, people who realize they are wrong and ask for forgiveness develop a rich understanding of being forgiven. It is out of the experience of needing forgiveness that a person learns how to truly forgive those who hurt him or her.

Character First! Education Series 1

Maskepetoon The Indian Chief

One evening Maskepetoon was deeply moved by the missionary’s address on our Lord’s dying prayer. “Father, forgive them.” The next day a band of Indians was approaching, in which was the man who had murdered Maskepetoon’s only son. His son, sent into a secluded valley, had never returned; and the son’s companion said that he had fallen over a precipice, though in fact he had murdered him. Unknown to the murderer, the tragedy had been witnessed by some Indians who later reported it to the bereaved chief.

When the two bands were within a few hundred yards of each other, the eagle eye of the old chief detected the murderer, and, drawing his tomahawk from his belt, he rode up till he was face to face with the man who had murdered his son.

Maskepetoon, with a voice tremulous with suppressed feeling, yet with an admirable command over himself, looking the man full in the eyes said: “You deserve to die. I sent him with you, his trusted companion. You betrayed my trust and cruelly killed my only son! You have done me and.my tribe the greatest injury that is possible. You deserve to die; but for what I heard from the missionary at the camp fire last nigh, I would already have killed you! The missionary told us that, if  we expected God to forgive, we must forgive the greatest wrong.

“You have been my worst enemy, and deserve to die!” With deep emotion he continued, “As I hope God will forgive me, I forgive you.” Then, hastily pulling his war bonnet over his face, Maskepetoon bowed down over his horse’s neck and gave way to an agony of tears.

For years Maskepetoon lived a devoted Christian life. He preached to others. And after influencing many of his own tribe to turn from killing their enemies, the Blackfeet, he gave them no other weapon but the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

But a bloodthirsty chief of that vindictive tribe, remembering some of their fierce conflicts of other days, and, perhaps, having lost by Maskepetoon’s own prowess some of his relatives in those conflicts, seized his gun, and, in defiance of all rules of humanity, coolly shot down the converted chieftain.

Who can say that forgiveness is not a costly thing? Maskepetoon suffered a broken heart to forgive the murderer of his son. Then it cost him his life to forgive his enemies, to go to them unarmed and preach to them forgiveness of sin.

-Prairie Overcomer

Inability to Think

When the Moravian missionaries first went to the Eskimos, they could not find a word in their language for forgiveness, so they had to compound one. This turned out to be: issumagijoujumgnainermik. It is a formidable looking assembly of letters, but an expression that has a beautiful connotation for those who understand it. It means: “Not-being-able-to-think-about-it-anymore.”

-Ministers’ Research Service