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Luann Budd, president of NEWIM, blogs about the spiritual life of a leader, shares insight from what she is reading, and reflects on the call to Christian leadership.

Ministry Leaders and Forgiveness (11/20/2013)

Jackie Rettberg

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3:12-14, NIV).
 
What godly forgiveness looks like:
 
1.  Identify how you have been wronged. Before you forgive you must accuse, at least internally. The other person is responsible for their actions. Don’t make excuses for them. Wrong forgiven is still wrong done. The Holy Spirit points out sin to the world (John 16:8-11) and to the believer (1 John 1:5-10).
 
2.  Feel the anger! The Lord feels anger at sin (Psalm 95:10)!
 
3.  Realize that neither justice nor revenge or anything else can reverse the wrong done. You have no power to change the past and the person may not ever say they are sorry. There are consequences but there is grace (Acts 22:1-21).
 
4.  Give up the right to get even or to punish (Philippians 4:2).
 
5.  Don’t worry about forgetting. Not forgetting enables you to direct your actions in the future. But how wonderful that the Lord forgives even the guilt of our sins (Psalm 32:5).
 
6.  Recognize how negative you have become about the other person.
 
7.  Choose to make positive comments about the other person.
 
8.  Choose to wish the other person well (the Lord is affirming, John 15:5-17).
 
9.  Believe God is just and merciful (because He is). God is able to punish people without destroying them and able to forgive without indulging them (11 Samuel 12, John 21:15-23).
 
10.  Realize the world is not always fair, life isn’t perfect, all people are sinners and you are saved by grace (1 Peter 1:13-21).
 
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.”