No One Can Live Without Forgiveness
No one can live without forgiveness. Why? Because we’re not perfect. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all do things or did things we should have never done. We all said things we should never have said. We all hurt others intentionally or intentionally, but whether you hurt others intentionally or unintentionally doesn’t matter because being hurt is being hurt. We are not trying to determine who’s right or who’s wrong. We all have regrets. We all have our own painful past. We want to forget and change it or redo it,
But we can’t, simply, we cannot do that. That’s why we need forgiveness. Otherwise, the burden of guilt, shame and regrets will be, too much to bear. They’ll eat us up and they will consume us, and a lot of people do lots of things to deal with their own guilt, shame and regret. Sometimes they punish themselves. They may feel good if they punish themselves for their wrongdoing, but by doing that, we cannot get rid of the burden of guilt or even lighten the burden of guilt. We don’t feel any better. Maybe when you punish yourself, maybe then, but soon you don’t. You realize that you don’t feel any better. Sometimes we are trying to do wonderful things, great things to compensate for the wrongdoing, so we did, but you can never do that. You can never undo wrongdoings that you did by doing wonderful things. It’s just playing games that doesn’t cancel out what we did in the past and sometimes we try to justify ourselves saying that, oh, it wasn’t really, really my fault. I didn’t want do it, but she made it. She made me do it, or he made me do it, like Adam in the Bible, you know, she gave me this fruit.
Dealing with Guilt, Shame and Regrets
Well, sometimes we justify ourselves saying that, oh, it’s all circumstances in that circumstance. I have no choice but to do so, but you always have a choice. By doing that, we don’t feel any better or our situation doesn’t get any better. No matter how hard we try, we know that we cannot take off an ounce of the weight, of the burden of guilt and shame and regrets. Maybe guilt, shame and regrets are something that we have to suffer through. Maybe. Maybe there’s no other way. There is no way around it, there’s no way to ignore it and avoid they won’t disappear. They’ll still be there. The more you play blind eyes to them, the more deeply they will torment you. The moment we open our eyes it’s right there. Gazing hard at us.
We will always encounter incidents, events, people, and situations that trigger off our guilt, shame and regrets. And then we enter again into dark tunnel of mourning and grief. I once went to Ohio, Columbus Ohio. It was a listening skill lab. So for a whole week I got training for the listening skill and it was wonderful time. The guest speaker was talking about his own painful experience. That once, he had a lecture, and then a couple was coming in and then saw them. They were the ones who gave him so much pain and hardship. After the lecture he pulled a facade. And then said very nicely and kind of how are you, how are you doing? long time, no see every day and chit chatted for sometime. So he did very well. When he came back to the hotel, all of a sudden he had so many hives all over his body and he was heated up and had a fever and he was trembling and he realized that there was still pain left in him. That pain that was caused by this couple, we realized that was within us. Cannot be easily undone. Even our guilt, shame and regress don’t just disappear just because we wish them away. They follow us around and surprisingly they surface sometimes and drive us into deep darkness and even despair.
Trust in God’s Forgiveness
The problem is there is nothing we can do that’s a problem. There is nothing we can do about it. We cannot forgive ourselves. Can you. You may say that you forgive yourself, but you still feel miserable. You cannot forgive yourself. You cannot undo what you did. You cannot change what happened. You cannot get rid of guilt shame and regrets without decision and willpower. You cannot say, “oh from today. I’m going to forget about it.” You can’t do. You cannot make decision on things like that. That’s why we need forgiveness. That’s where I believe God’s forgiveness comes in. Not really. There’s nothing that we can do but there is God’s forgiveness, but unfortunately many people don’t trust in God’s forgiveness. They try on their own to deal with their own shame, guilt and regrets. They don’t believe there is a power in God’s forgiveness.
Of course, if we can get forgiveness from the people that we hurt, then that’ll be great, but thing is it is impossible. Sometimes we don’t even know we whom we hurt and sometimes the people that we hurt are not around so it’s impossible to do so, so we come to God’s forgiveness. As we come to God’s forgiveness, something strange happens, something wonderful happens. Something we can not do happens within us. Of course, Guilt shame and regrets may not simply disappear just because you come to God’s forgiveness. They don’t just disappear, but they try not to remain as they are. They change somehow their face, the guilt, shame and regrets change. How do they change? They change into a broken spirit, a broken heart. When we come to God with humility, when God’s forgiveness works within us, then guilt, shame and regrets, turn into a broken heart, and this broken heart brings about forgiving heart. This is a process of that I cannot make on my own, but when we come to God, this happens. Guilt turns into broken heart and broken heart creates and forms within us the forgiving heart.
A Forgiving Heart allows you to Give and Receive Forgiveness
That’s what Jesus meant today in today’s passage. If you read it again, “for if you forgive others their trespasses or their mistakes may say, your heavenly father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others, neither will your father forgive your trespasses. Jesus is not talking about forgiving acts, forgiving behavior. Oh, you forgave that, so I’ll forgive you a and you didn’t forgive that and I won’t forgive you. That’s not what Jesus means. Jesus is saying that if you have forgiving heart, then you can forgive others and also you can receive forgiveness, forgiveness from God, but if you don’t have forgiving heart, you cannot forgive others and that you cannot receive forgiveness from God either. That’s what he’s saying whether you have forgiving heart or not, depending on whether you have forgiving heart or not, you cannot forgive others or you can forgive others or you can receive forgiveness from God or you cannot receive forgiveness. Forgiveness from God. Important thing is forgiving heart and that forgiving heart is created when you come to God’s forgiveness and that guilt shame and regret turn into forgiving heart.
So many people live with a hardened heart. They just simply don’t know how to forgive. They just simply don’t know how to receive forgiveness. This world is filled with people with hardened hearts, revenge, anger, animosity, hatred, they’re continuously ready to attack each other. Just a little thing fires up there are so angry and get back to you. This world has become such a world of hatred, hardened heart. By ignoring guilt shame and regrets, we develop hardened heart. Then we become people who don’t know forgiveness. Then these things will consume us and destroy our heart. That’s not the way to live. That’s not the way to build community. This is not the way we relate to each other by ignoring them, by justifying them by simply suffering them will not help us deal with our guilt, shame and regret. They will torment us within us and slowly make us people we don’t want to be, but with humility and faith. When we come to God, God helps our guilt, shame and regrets change into broken heart, and then we’ll experience the power of God’s forgiveness. God is alive, God is alive and God’s forgiveness is alive.
Through a Forgiving Heart we can Finally be Free
What, we cannot do God did and God does. And through forgiving heart we can finally be free, free from our own guilt, shame and regrets. And we are free to embrace others and forgive others,
You wanna see concrete example in the scripture? The concrete example is David. David lived with his guilt and shame and regret, but he came to God for forgiveness and this is what he prayed, “create in me a clean heart, oh God and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain in me a willing spirit.” He didn’t try to deal with his own guilt, just leave it for awhile. He didn’t try to deal with guilt on his own and shame he came to God. This is action of David coming to God instead of suffering all by himself or justifying, he just came humbly came to God. Restore Spirit within me. Do not cast me away from you create in me a clean heart. When he did that, he realized the broken spirit is formed within him. That guilt turned into broken spirit. He experienced and that broken spirit he recognize and so he’s next passage. He said this, “for you have no delight in sacrifice. If I were to give a burnt offering, you will not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. O God, you will not despise” Within himself. saw broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, but also he realized that God will not despise that.
That’s different from guilt. That’s different from guilt. Jesus once said, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. That poor in spirit is broken heart, broken spirit. It is the heart that is formed within us. When we come to God’s forgiveness. Let us come to God’s forgiveness. Do you have a heart to forgive others or to have a hard time forgiving others? Do you forgive your parents? Do you forgive people who hurt you? Have you received true forgiveness from God? God can make you free.