Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” Matthew 6:12-15
Forgiveness is an important part of the process. Sometimes we have difficulty letting go of anger and resentment towards those who have hurt us. Asking God for forgiveness is hypocritical unless we are willing to forgive others/ Forgiveness from Him can be forfeited and denied when we deny forgiveness to others.
There is a connection between what we do and what God does. It can be easy to forget what He has done for us as our lives improve. Lamentations 3:21-24 says ‘there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up……………… I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.‘ God’s grace comes in daily doses and we need to ask ourselves “Just for today am I willing to forgive others?” or am I just trying to escape my current situation or circumstances?
STEP EIGHTAs part of the process of change, I will identify and record everyone I have harmed and through prayer become willing to make restitution to them.
Welcome to Living Life Recovery. Now being the eighth month of 2021 we continue looking at some of the issues surrounding this step and some of the solutions I have found through my own experience of recovery.
Matthew 5:44 says “Here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.“
Forgiving others isn’t always easy. Often the pain is still real and raw. But forgiving is necessary to moving on in the process of recovery. The degree we are willing to forgive those who have hurt us is an indication of how much we have grown spiritually.
I grew up with an aggressive and abusive stepfather. My resentment towards him was far greater than any other resentment I carried in my heart. He is the only person I ever really hated.
When I entered recovery He was the hardest person for me to forgive. So much so that a couple of times my resentment for him threatened to bring me unstuck. Through prayer, meditation, residing in the presence of God, and understanding of my step-father’s faults I forgave him – but it wasn’t easy.
PRAYING FOR THE STRENGTH TO FORGIVE OTHERS IN THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY IS ESSENTIAL “In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” Matthew 6:14-15
When we refuse to forgive others why do we feel we have a right to grumble when God chooses not to forgive us?
WE NEED TO MAKE ALLOWANCES AND UNDERSTAND WHERE OTHERS ARE COMING FROM Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.Colossians 3:13
Where were you when God brought you into recovery?
Why didn’t He leave you there?
GOD WANTS TO TO FORGIVE OUR SINS – BUT WE NEED TO BE HONEST WITH HIM AND WITH OTHERS If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 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.1 John 1:8-9
Are you carrying resentment that will lead to relapse?
2 Chronicles 7:14If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1) Humble yourself by admitting your sins (2) Pray to God for forgiveness, (3) Seek God continually, and (4) Turn from sinful behavior.
True repentance ismore than talk—it is changed behaviOUR
AFTER DISCOVERING MY SINFUL HABITS AND ATTITUDES AND CONFESSING THEM, I AM NOW WILLING TO LET GOD CHANGE ME.
Titus 2:11God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone
Recovery is available to everyone through personal relationship with Jesus but a lot of people are not ready or willing to pursue it.
I am always surprised when people tell me they know how to achieve recovery and don’t.
God is ready to give us the gift of recovery and forgive us the things we have done wrong in the past. If we are prepared to accept change and implement it. Accepting God’s gift becomes dangerous when we justify bad choices and behaviour. Sometime we may thing it is easier to go along with tings we know are wrong than do what we need to in order to change.
What changes is God challenging you to make that you are opposing?
Prayer: Lord today open my mind and heart to doing what You want and following Your plan.
I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action. ‘Play actors’ acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. In prayer, there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire. When you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive them. Only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.
The moment we get tired of waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. I want all of you to develop intimacies with God in prayer, but please don’t stop with that. Go on and proclaim his clear truth to others. It’s more important that everyone has access to the knowledge and love of God in language everyone understands than that you go off and cultivate God’s presence in a mysterious prayer language. Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. What I want most is for men and women to pray–not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God.
I pray to God–my life a prayer– and wait for what he’ll say and do. #Challenging #Forgive #Respond #Remember #Pray
Do you feel that you could never come close to God because you have done something terrible?
God can and will forgive you for any sin. While God forgives us, however, He does not always erase the natural consequences of our sin. Recovery requires changes in our character. Changes we need to put ACTION into.
Colossians 3:13 Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you
Tolerating the differences. We all have them and some of them can be really annoying. God created us all in His image. He in His wisdom gave us all personalities and if we are going to survive the process of recovery we are going to have to tolerate each other’s differences.
I often like to tell people about the process of my recovery and the amazing things God did in that process just for me. I have been challenged by people who think I am too sure of myself. I’m not, what I am sure of is my Saviour and my Higher Power has a plan for me and if I continually seek to find, understand and implement His plan nothing can ever happen that will make me want to return to being the person I used to be.
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Luke 6:31“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!”
Colossians 3:12-15Chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.
1 John 3:10-20Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test. For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other. We must not be like Cain, who joined the Evil One and then killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because he was deep in the practice of evil, while the acts of his brother were righteous. So don’t be surprised, friends, when the world hates you. This has been going on a long time. The way we know we’ve been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together. This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
At that point, Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got underway, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market. “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt. “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’ “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king. “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”Matthew 18:21-35
Jesus taught His disciples to forgive. Not to hold grudges or seek revenge but to ‘forgive and forget.’
Recovery is about taking responsibility, changing our actions and behaviors and forgiving others as Christ has forgiven us. “shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’