Being Known By Their Shame

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I heard that Ted Haggard began his new reality TV show this past weekend. I can’t believe I missed it! (just kidding!) When I heard about the show I had random thoughts about how and why such a show could even be considered much less actually get on the air. Then this morning I came across this post by Carl Trueman that articulated much of what I was thinking.

Ted Haggard

Now some might read this and feel compelled to comment about an absence of grace or ask about the “God of second chances.” What I took from Trueman’s comments was that instead of allowing our mistakes to shape us further into the image of Christ, too many use their mistakes to make a name for themselves. IOW, the fallen person becomes more known for the glory they take from the mistake than for a life restored by Christ and that glorifies Him!

Here’s just a quick excerpt of his comments. To read the whole thing click here.

    “A man who betrays his wife can be forgiven; but I am not sure he can be forgiven for making it an opportunity to further his career. When Haggard talks of acceptance and does it on a TV show, and others cover their sleaze with blog talk of `sins of relational mobility’, is it any wonder that the world looks on with utter contempt?”

How much were you forgiven?

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I am still pondering the parable from Matt 18 about the slave that was forgiven much but demanded repayment from a fellow slave that owed so little. We ended our time in the Word last week considering how much God has forgiven us for.

So how do we answer that question? How much did God forgive us? What is the extent of that forgiveness? How bad a sinner was I? How big was my debt? How could I really be that bad? (whether we actually say that out loud or not, I think that is exactly what most of us really think.)

We will always come to the wrong conclusion when we try to answer that question from the perspective us looking up at God from our vantage point. Instead the only way to come to the right conclusion is to attempt to answer that question by looking over God’s shoulder down on us — from His perspective.

Do you have that perspective? If so, how did you get it? What is your understanding of your sin and the great debt that has been paid on your behalf?

Finally, if you understand the magnificence of your forgiveness, how has that impacted your relationships with others?

How to really foul up the closing challenge to your Sunday morning message!

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On Sunday as I closed out our time together in the Word, I should have held up the slip of paper and said, “Based on all that God has forgiven you for, what could you possibly not forgive someone else for?” In other words, how can we hold a grudge or withhold forgiveness from someone else when we have been forgiven for so much?

We’re going to explore this theme more this week next Sunday. I’ll try to get it right!

Did I confuse you?

Do you have to forget to forgive?

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I have heard many people say to really forgive means that one has to forget the offense. When Paul writes in 1 Cor. 13 that love does not keep an account of wrongs, is he saying that one has to forget an offense to be truly loving the offender.

Is that what you think it means?

Does God forget our sins? Is that possible for the omniscient God to do? Can He who knows all, forget something? Is it more probably that He does not remember our sins against us?

Gary Inrig in his book, “The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant” suggests the following:

Something that can be forgotten is trivial; things that truly need forgiveness are not. And forgiveness is not ignoring, avoiding, or being indifferent to a person who has harmed us, a state of controlled politeness.

So — do we have to forget to forgive?

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