4 Steps To Practicing Forgiveness
Jeremy • Apr 4 2021
“Stone her!” The shouts could be heard throughout the early morning as an angry mob of men were determined to eradicate the discovery of sin in their community. This woman had been caught in the act of adultery and a group of righteous men took it upon themselves to drag her to stand before Jesus.
Standing there, eyes fixed on the ground in front of her, the woman was cloaked in the realization that her secret sin was a secret no more. Feelings of guilt and shame overtook her as she waited for what inevitably would happen next.
Silence filled the air, as all eyes were on Jesus. What would he do? How would he handle this situation? To their surprise, He said nothing but instead bent down and began writing in the dirt. The Bible never records what was written that day. However, we know that Jesus implored that the man who had no sin could cast the first stone. As He knelt back down to continue writing in the dirt, the men hastily filed away – one by one.
Romans 3:23 reminds us that every human being engages in sin. Each one of us has, are, or will fall short of the glory of God. And on that morning, Jesus knew that the only person eligible to pass judgment was Himself – yet He chose not to. He told the woman that she was not condemned. Instead of punishment, He extended unmerited grace. He simply told her to go and leave her life of sin.
“All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:24
We read Scriptures like this and will agree with our mouths that the grace offered by Jesus is sufficient for us. Biblical examples are given of sin having to be exposed, not just before Jesus, but before man for the fullness of healing to be complete. Even of the Biblical examples of healing taking place quietly between a person and Jesus, the majority end with the healed person shouting from the rooftops of their healing and deliverance.
In our minds, we recognize that shame, guilt, and self-condemnation have to bow at the name of Jesus. But getting our hearts to believe that we are eligible to receive that grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love is a very different story – especially when we’re bound by sexual sin.
Satan, the accuser, isn’t solely after accusing you. He wants to accuse God before you. The enemy, cloaked in his deception, wants you to believe that the power and authority found in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is weaker than your sin. And when you choose to remain in silence, believing the lies that all of earth will judge and condemn you for your poor choices, you are standing in agreement with Satan – the father of all lies.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 3:6-7
Truly living a life sold out for God is never done in isolation. And as we await Resurrection Sunday, we must be reminded that fellowship with other believers is required of us, regardless of our circumstances.
This Easter, life looks different. The church doors in your community may remain locked, and you may instead have to stream a service. Small groups may have dissipated, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the evidence of our belief in Christ is made known through the connections we have with others. Now is as good of a time as any to fully recognize the brokenness that we are allowing to continue to dominate our lives.
If you have battled pornography, masturbation, lust-filled eyes, multiple affairs, or any form of sexual sin, let this Resurrection Sunday birth the promise once again in your life that you can be free.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:5-6
God doesn’t just want to rid you of your sin. He wants to reconcile you to Him, so that you can freely enter into fellowship with Him. Through Jesus’s death, God decimated the barrier that had been resurrected between you and Him. And the shed blood of Christ covers everything.
Do you honestly understand what a transgression is? Or has it been a word in a Bible Scripture that you’ve learned to quote, but never actually applied to your life?
Transgression is the act, process, or instance of violating a law, command or duty. Mike Leake, author and speaker, shares that the Hebrew word for transgression is Chattah. When translated, this means to miss the mark. By a moral standard, we are aiming to model God since we were created in His image. Our transgressions cause us to miss that intended target, prohibiting us from attaining the acceptable standard of living in our lives.
Seeking pornography is but one example of a transgression. We are violating the words of Jesus when He said that even looking lustfully is the same as committing adultery.
Again, it’s important to learn how the word ‘iniquities’ applies to your life – especially as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. According to Mr. Leake, the Hebrew word for iniquity is Awon. Simply put, iniquities are sins that point to our character or our heart. It is the “why” for our behavior.
Pornography or masturbation, for most people, is only a symptom of something much greater happening within. Seeking freedom from these things will require you to completely surrender everything, past and present to the Lord. As painful or embarrassing as it may seem, vulnerably sharing your story with another person begins to peel back the shame that you’ve operated out of.
Remember, in His love for you, Jesus allowed His body to be brutally beaten specifically to enable you to heal. The punishment He endured was intended to bring you peace within your soul.
Right now, life seems anything but peaceful. Chaos is circulating around us in the midst of a global pandemic that has halted many portions of our lives. But in this down-time, we can choose to honestly evaluate our lives and the choices that we’re making. Now is a great time to get alone with God, to pour out your heart and soul before Him. He already knows everything you’ve been through and the pain you’re carrying in your heart. Your words are not going to be a surprise to Him.
Instead of using technology to fall deeper into sin and hopelessness, use it for good. Reach out to someone, either on the phone or through a video chat.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” – James 5:16
Take the time to read books or watch videos, such as the Conquer Series, to help you begin your healing journey.
The Conquer Series is a video-based teaching that focuses on healing the brokenness within that frequently leads to sexual sin. Combining both Science and Scripture, it teaches individuals the importance of finding their identity in Christ. And, these videos explain how the brain has been changed through acting out, and why it’s important to renew the mind.
Choose this Resurrection Sunday to fully accept the gift that was freely given to you through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Denying it doesn’t weaken its power, instead it causes you to reject everything that Christ died to give you. Now is the time to reclaim all that the enemy has stolen from you. Don’t delay, but instead take this opportunity. As Christ hung on the Cross, feeling His strength drain from His body, He looked out and saw you standing there. You were cloaked in your guilt, shame, and sin, and He said, “For you, my son (or daughter), this is worth it.”
Now is the time to rise up, accept the gift, and begin pursuing purity in Christ. You were not just called to survive, or barely get by. Jesus paid the price for you to thrive. So, step out of the darkness and into the light that is waiting for you. Get started today by signing up at SoulRefiner.com.
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
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