Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?

RT Kendall’s book used to be considered the classic textbook for Christians on forgiveness.  One of his main arguments was that forgiveness was primarily about the heart attitude of the offended.  One of his key bits of advice was that if someone had offended you and you had truly forgiven them then you would notContinue reading “Does forgiveness need to be expressed to the other person?”

Forgiveness and reconciliation may not always mean a return to normal

A boyfriend completely forgets his girlfriend’s birthday and goes out with his mates for a drink instead. It’s not the first time he has let her down.  She decides to break off with him.  At the time he expresses sorrow, buys her flowers, chocolates and concert tickets but she sees through the remorse, this isn’tContinue reading “Forgiveness and reconciliation may not always mean a return to normal”

Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness

I believe that a grace culture is one where we are quick to seek forgiveness, express sorrow and repentance, to offer forgiveness and to seek reconciliation.  This reflects the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount which is all about what it means to be saturated in God’s love and grace so that we enjoyContinue reading “Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness”

Get these two words in your regular vocabulary

This is a subject I will keep coming back to because I believe it is so important that we get this right if we are going to see healthy gospel churches. They are “sorry” and “forgive”. Elton John sung that “sorry seems to be the hardest word.”  It shouldn’t be should it. We know thatContinue reading “Get these two words in your regular vocabulary”

Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)

On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. SheContinue reading “Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)”

Skin Deep? What if we took Jesus seriously about divorce?

Jesus says: 31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. As you can see, the culture of his day saidContinue reading “Skin Deep? What if we took Jesus seriously about divorce?”

Skin Deep? Anger and Murder

Have you ever called anyone a fool or an idiot? I would probably do better to ask if anyone has not called someone that!  So, we probably should take Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-26 seriously. But doesn’t the Bible, Paul and even Jesus himself refer to people as fools and foolish?  So, what exactly isContinue reading “Skin Deep? Anger and Murder”

When pastoral questions might be linked (A further response to Beth Moore)

I want to come back to Beth Moore’s questions.  Now we assumed that the two questions were hypothetical and that they were about two distinct scenarios. However, suppose that they weren’t.  Of course, only Beth Moore knows the answer to that. Certainly I get the feel that they are at least based on her wealthContinue reading “When pastoral questions might be linked (A further response to Beth Moore)”

Forgiveness, reconciliation, restored trust and domestic abuse

In my article yesterday, I talked about learning to trust again after forgiveness and reconciliation. I argued that this was possible by choosing to remember the good things about a person as well as God’s grace to them and us and to choose to not remember their weakness, sin and the pain caused. In aContinue reading “Forgiveness, reconciliation, restored trust and domestic abuse”

Forgiveness, reconciliation, trust and what you choose to remember

Forgiveness does not always lead to reconciliation. It is possible to say “I forgive you” but rebuilding broken trust is difficult, takes time and may not be possible.  This may leave us feeling hopeless, helpless and despairing.  What hope is there for the married couple where there has been a breakdown in the relationship, they’veContinue reading “Forgiveness, reconciliation, trust and what you choose to remember”