FORGIVENESS: OUR ONLY WAY OF DEALING WITH THE PAST

THE NEED:

If you are a living person you inevitably have to deal with the big question of forgiveness. In so many and various ways people offend us and we offend people. One of our main problems is that we remember what has happened in our lives and how it has affected us but we cannot undo the past! Writing on the issue one author, Lewis Smedes, puts it: “One of God’s better jokes on us was to give us the power to remember the past and leave us no power to undo it.” Forgiveness is easier talked about than done. Yet, it is the only way we can deal with the past! Forgiveness is one of the tenets of the Christian faith but maybe also one of the often misunderstood principles of Christian living and faith. Every Christian needs a sound biblical understanding that he/she can put into practice in their lives.

THE GOAL:

  • Review and debunk misconceptions and popular myths, and develop a sound biblical perspective on forgiveness
  • Discuss fundamental Bible passages related to the nature and dynamics of forgiveness
  • Outline specific steps in forgiveness and invite to action
  • Answer any relevant questions related to the nature and dynamics of real-life forgiveness

CONTENT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • What is preventing me from forgiving?
  • Why in the world do I need to forgive?
  • Three stages of forgiveness
  • The difference between vengeance and justice
  • What do we actually forgive?
  • The role of trust in human relationships and in forgiving
  • Does forgiveness mean reunion?
  • The relationship between forgiveness and restoration
  • Who is in the position to forgive?
  • Should I forgive someone who does not seem to be sorry or never asked me for forgiveness?
  • How does God forgive us? Case study – Luke 15
  • How do I deal with the pain from the offense?
  • What is the right and best time to forgive?
  • Do I forgive only in my heart or should I say it?
  • How many times should I forgive?
  • Forgive and forget or forgive and remember?
  • How do I know I have really forgiven?

INTENDED FOR:

This seminar is intended for anyone from an individual to small groups and a whole church and community.

FORMAT:

This training could be presented in any thinkable format: from individual training to a group study and a church-wide presentation (on average between 3-5 hours).

In the best case this training is broken into two sessions on a single day (e.g. one whole Saturday morning or afternoon, a Sunday late afternoon/evening, etc.). This allows participants to learn better and to have opportunities to interact and get involved in discussions as well as reflect on and raise general or personal questions on the dynamics of forgiveness.