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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Forgiveness

John Bradshaw - Forgiveness

John Bradshaw - Forgiveness
John Bradshaw - Forgiveness
TOPICS: In The Word, Forgiveness

It's great to have this opportunity to join with you today. Let's pray together before we open the Bible.

Our Father in heaven, bless us as we come to You in Your Word. Send Your Spirit to guide us. Guide our thinking; take our will; make our will Your very own. I pray that You touch hearts and minds and lives. And bless us that Your Word will do what You want it to do right now. We thank You, and we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Between 1948 and 1994, there existed one of the most controversial political practices in all of the 20th century. To those born after that time, or even to those of us looking back all these years after it came to an end, it can seem almost bizarre that the South African system of apartheid was ever practiced and accepted. "Apartheid" is a word that means "separateness". And the system was one of legal racial segregation, spanning almost half a century. Apartheid classified South Africans and even visitors to that country into racial groups. You were either black, white, colored, Indian, or Asian.

A 1949 law made it illegal for someone to marry someone of another race. Everyone over the age of 18 was forced to carry an identity card specifying their racial group. It was illegal for people of different races to use the same public amenities, such as restaurants, public swimming pools, and restrooms. Blacks were relocated to live in black "homelands," as they were called. And in 1970, blacks were no longer classified as citizens of South Africa. Instead, they were citizens of one of 10 self-governing territories. Of course, the system bred massive discontent, enormous protests, international condemnation. Many, many people died and were brutally, cruelly, and unjustly treated under apartheid. Now, you might expect that when blacks in South Africa assumed power, their prime concern would be revenge.

Many people feared mass bloodshed, vendettas, rioting. What actually happened was something really rather incredible. Although it was imperfect, and although some people would strongly disagree with it, something called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up where victims and perpetrators of violence and injustice could alike testify. The chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Like the country's new president, Nelson Mandela, he was committed to seeing South Africa move forward and not descend into chaos. And after serving in that capacity, he recognized that there was one key component that would ensure the nation would have a future. He said, "There can be no future without forgiveness".

The Bible agrees with these words. In Matthew chapter 6, right after Jesus gave His disciples the Lord's Prayer, He said this, Matthew 6, verse 14: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". Now, that's a whale of a statement. If you don't forgive others, God won't forgive you. Not "if you don't obey me," God won't forgive you. Not "if you don't serve others," God won't forgive you. Not "if you don't be kind to others," God won't forgive you. But simply, if you don't forgive others, God won't forgive you. And that's a statement that many people struggle with because while you're sitting there wondering, "Does God really want me to forgive a certain individual for that?" the answer that comes back to us from the Bible is yes, even that.

In Jesus' day, it was evidently spiritually fashionable for people to be outwardly religious but full of garbage inwardly. Those pitiful Jewish leaders who didn't want to desecrate the Passover while they were in the throes of murdering the Son of God. James and John were laboring with Jesus and planning on calling fire down from heaven and incinerating some people who were uncooperative. Leaders in the church who were careful to fast and fulfill certain religious requirements, but they're planning to kill Lazarus. So when Peter came to Jesus one day with a question, he had to have felt pretty righteous. He said in Matthew 18, verse 21, "'Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?' Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.'"

Jesus taught that it is the duty of the Christian to forgive, yea, verily, the privilege of the Christian to forgive. And He taught that forgiveness is a prerequisite for entering heaven. So let me make this very clear. If you are an unforgiving person, or if you are holding onto grudges and slights and hurts and crimes that you're flat-out refusing to forgive, don't waste your energy hoping to go to heaven. You're not gonna go. Heaven is not for those who refuse to forgive. The one who had the greatest reason not to forgive was Jesus. Here He was dying for the sins of others, not His own sins, but your sins and mine, and as people were driving nails into His hands and into His feet, Jesus prayed to His Father, and He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing".

And that's interesting because they knew exactly what they were doing. Crucifixion was calculated to inflict maximum pain and damage, the greatest amount of suffering. What they did was intentional, yet Jesus cried out to His Father and requested that He forgive His tormentors. And here's what I know. Sometimes it can seem impossible to forgive. Someone right now is saying, "I know I have to forgive, I know what the Bible says, but how do I do it"? And that's a good question. How do you forgive someone who ruined your marriage? Someone who is unfaithful to you? How do you forgive someone who ruined you financially? How do you forgive someone who slandered you deliberately, who spread lies about you, who was responsible for you losing a job? How do you forgive someone who abused you or killed a member of your family? How do you forgive a parent who ruined your life? How can a German Jew forgive his or her Nazi captors? An African-American forgive a racist system, or a South African, apartheid?

These things seem impossible. But Jesus doesn't ask you to do the impossible. That is, He doesn't ask you to do anything that His grace cannot enable you to do. What do we read in Philippians 4 and verse 13? "I can do", how many things? "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Through Jesus. Even forgiveness of the most awful thing can become possible. Ephesians 4, verse 31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you". Let's take a moment to consider what forgiveness isn't. Forgiveness isn't forgive and forget. Forgiveness isn't saying something is okay when it isn't okay. Forgiveness isn't forgiving and making up, not always. Forgiving does not necessarily set somebody else free. You can't really forget what someone did to you.

Let's recap these. Someone stands on your toe or bumps you in line; okay, you're not going to think twice about that. But someone abuses you? No, it would probably be unhealthy to forget that. Forgiving someone for what they did to you does not make what they did right. If someone is wrong, view what they did was wrong. Forgiving that person is not the same as telling that person that what they did was acceptable. You don't necessarily have to make up with the person that you choose to forgive. In some cases where an individual is wrong, it may be best to never see that person again. It may be, it might be best not to invite that person to Thanksgiving dinner. But you can forgive, and you can forgive meaningfully. And forgiveness doesn't remove consequences. You know that's true with God. You do methamphetamines and repent, or smoke and repent, or practice an immoral lifestyle and repent, oh, certainly, God will forgive you, but you're still gonna end up with perhaps a damaged brain or damaged lungs or some terrible disease of some kind.

Even when you forgive someone, there are often consequences. You shoot someone, and you might be forgiven by that person, but you're still gonna go to jail. What forgiveness does is it frees you from being a slave to the hurtful things of the past. It liberates you from the pain of your yesterdays. It frees you to live an emotionally healthy future. Someone once said, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you". Forgiveness is the skill of letting go. And as long as you hold on to resentment, you know what you do? You hold on to the person who harmed you, and you let that person control you, be in control of your life. Anger will keep you stuck in a bad, dark place. There are people who still feel angry about something that happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 or more years ago. You're stuck, paralyzed. People won't forgive the church for something that happened when they were a child, won't forgive the church school for something that happened 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. The teachers are all dead, but your anger is still alive and well. Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but I'll tell you what, it does change the future.

The winter 1999 issue of Spirituality and Help magazine had on its cover a picture, a cartoon I think it was, of three US servicemen, all former POWs, standing in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. One of them turns and asks the other, "Have you forgiven your captors"? "No," he's told, "I'll never forgive them as long as I live for what they've done to me". First man turns back, and he says, "Well, then, I guess they still have you in prison, don't they"? Keep a couple of things in mind: Unforgiveness hurts you more than anyone. While you're stewing over something with someone, that person is going right on with his or her life, and your unforgiveness and bitterness and malice doesn't hurt them one little bit. You think you're hurting someone else when you refuse to talk to someone? You're only hurting yourself.

Feeling hatred toward a parent, a parent who may even be dead, it's certainly not hurting the parent, but it's definitely hurting you. I could tell you about two brothers; their father was a good man, but he had been hard to live with. One brother forgave his father, the father's difficult behavior, and he went right on. Life was okay. The other brother held a grudge and was bitter, and it affected his entire life. Forgiveness helps you much more than the person you're forgiving. Don't forgive and you give that person control over your life. You can't take a poison pill and hope the other person dies.

I remember holding some evangelistic meetings in Tennessee many years ago. There was a young man who was wanting to be baptized. We met together, and then he said to me, "Pastor, I can't be baptized". "Oh, really"? I said. "Why is that"? He said, "Because I hate my brother". I said, "Well, that's not a good thing. Tell me more". He said, "Yes, he did some things to me that I just cannot forgive". "When"? I said. "Oh, it's been years. And I feel hatred towards him. So I really shouldn't be baptized". "Hmm," I said, "well, you're probably right. You can't say you've given your heart to Jesus if your heart is full of hatred towards someone. So why don't you just forgive the guy"? I said. "I can't". "Why not"? "Because what he did was just too bad". "You can forgive somebody for something bad". "Well, maybe," he said. He said, "But then things between us will never be the same again".

I said, "Well, that may be true, but whoever said they have to be the same again"? "Well," he said to me, "if I forgive him, things should be the same again". I said, "No, they shouldn't, not necessarily. I don't know what happened, but it, it depends. If you forgive him, things may never be the same again. Maybe they shouldn't be the same again, depending on what took place. But even though things won't be the same again, you can choose to forgive. You can choose not to hold a grudge. You can choose not to feel malice and bitterness. Choose to forgive. Choose not to hate. Choose not to be bitter. Choose to let it go". And he said, "I can do that. I can choose not to hate him. I can choose to shift my feelings when malice and bitterness takes over. I can choose to forgive". And he did. And he was baptized. And the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love". There's truth in those words. Now, of course there are people who are going to say, "But what happened to me wasn't fair, and it wasn't my fault". Look, you know the problem? The problem is life isn't fair. Bad things are going to happen, and they'll happen to you. That's just the way it is. Somebody is gonna do you wrong. Somebody is going to say something bad about you. Somewhere you're gonna be treated terribly. So what if you choose to harbor hatred and ill feeling about the person? You hurt the most in the long run. And that malice you feel, that hatred, that unforgiveness, it is evidence that you're not surrendering to Jesus.

Keep this in mind: I'm not suggesting, I'm not even intimating, that forgiving takes away pain. Your child dies in an accident that's clearly someone else's fault? You can forgive, but that forgiveness won't take away the pain of having lost a loved one. But saying what he did or what she did was bad, and that's that, might be true, but it isn't gonna help you. Look, let's walk through this together. You can practice this. I want you today to get about the business of forgiving someone. So let's say something happened; whatever it was, it happened. He said, she said, he did, she did, whatever it was, it happened, and it hurt. So keep something in mind: Your memory of that event is most likely skewed in some way.

Of course, that will differ with what happened. When it's a he-said-she-said, you'll tend to remember things in a way that suits you. You'll forget that you were being hard to get along with. You'll forget some of the details. You'll forget that before your child got hurt, Mr. Smith had asked all the children not to climb that high stone wall. You have your view of events, and your view of events is most likely not 100 percent accurate. I got together with some of my old high school friends some years ago. We started telling stories about our glory days, you know. I was shocked at what some of my friends were convinced was true when I'm convinced it absolutely wasn't. They were saying, "Oh, you did this". "No, I didn't". "Yes, you did". Or I say, "I did this". "No, you didn't; somebody else did".

I could, now, of course, they were wrong, and I was right. That, that's how it was. That's how I'd like to think it was. But if they were right only half the time, then my memory is re... I was about to say really bad, but I think what my memory tends to be is self-serving, or maybe simply unreliable. Our memories are interesting things. When I was growing up, our backyard at home, you know, Mom and Dad's place, had this enormous hill. It sloped downwards to our back fence. I learned to ride a bicycle going down that hill. It was my brother-in-law's, as a matter of fact. He put me on this little bike and, and sent me going and down the hill, and he knew, man, it was "sink or swim". And I'd make it down all right. I'd get to the bottom, and I "sank"; I didn't "swim". That happened several times, and then you learn it's in your best interests to ride that bike.

So it was a great, big hill, down, I mean, it was, it was straight down like a cliff. Except now, whenever I go back home, and I look into the old backyard, I say to myself, "Man, that's barely even a slope. It's hardly even a hill. There's nothing to it". But what I remember, all those years, what I was remembering was something like the north face of Mount Everest. I may exaggerate slightly, but you get my point. When we think of a wrong that occurred to us, we always remember events from our own point of view, always with some kind of bias. Very often people react with a stronger emotional reaction to an event than the event actually warrants; that is, your anger is frequently disproportionate to what happened. What you want to do in forgiveness is not forget what happened, but remember it in a different way.

And isn't it true that negative statements impact us more than positive statements? Scientists tell us that we experience negative emotions four to 10 times more intensely than positive ones. Look at it this way. You do special music at church. After church, 17 people say, "Wow, thanks! I was blessed"! And one person says, "I counted three times that you were off-key". And all afternoon, which comment are you going to remember? And it will eat you up. And that's what you'll think about when you go to bed that night, and you might start thinking about how you get back at that lady who said that unkind thing to you, and she shouldn't have done any such thing. I would encourage you to try to be as accurate as possible in your view of what happened.

Remember God says you must forgive. Give yourself the best chance of doing that. If you've fallen out with a friend, this becomes important. If a drunk driver hit your brother, I'll admit you'll go about this differently. Think of something you'll have trouble forgiving. Think about that. Now, evaluate what happened really carefully. Now, it's a good idea to do what Dick Tibbits, who was with Florida Hospital when I interviewed him on an It Is Written program, calls "reframing". Dr. Tibbits wrote a very good book on forgiveness called "Forgive to Live". And frankly, a lot of what I'm sharing with you right now I gleaned and learned from in his book, "Forgive to Live," Dr. Dick Tibbits. It doesn't mean that when you think about things differently, you change what happened. But you move the frame that you have around your memory so that you let in more details. You gotta try to see this thing less like you do and more like Christ does. For instance, you say, "My father was harsh and mean and controlling".

You know, that may be true. But if you're ever gonna get past that, you need to add a few more things into that whole picture. How about recognizing that your father, or your mother, whoever it was a product of his or her environment? You can say, "What my dad did was wrong, but when I remember that he, too, was wronged when he was younger, when I remember that his parents were impossibly hard on him, when I remember that his generation was very different to my world, then I'm not gonna be so hard on him as I remember". People who've been abused perhaps might remember that abusers frequently have themselves been abused. Now, that doesn't give an excuse for abuse in any way. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not making wrongs right. But you remember that what they've done has nothing to do with their power; it has something to do with their weakness. You just reframe the picture.

The more you can reframe it, the more you can take on the eyes and ears of Jesus, who said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do". Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong". He said, "If we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless". Your friend says something hurtful about you to someone else. You can't understand it; you are hurt. You could say, "That's that, no longer my friend. That hurt. I'm bitter, and I will never ever get over what was said". Or you could look at it differently, "She's been my friend for years. She's always treated me well. Is it possible I had upset her, or she was just having a bad day, or maybe there's some background here that I don't understand? Okay, what she did was wrong. But there's no need for me to stay stuck in that place. And besides," you might say, "I've done plenty of things wrong that others have forgiven, so perhaps I can be forgiving. I choose to forgive. I choose to ask God to work it in my life so that I'm not bitter or angry".

People do this all the time. You get a snappy woman serve you at the checkout, and you say, "Probably having a bad day". You're not making that person's rudeness acceptable; you've just re-framed it, "It wasn't a personal attack on me, and so I'm not going to take it as one". It also helps when you try to see the person who hurt you as a person and not as a demon. No, she or he most likely was not trying to ruin your life. That person most likely didn't set out that day to slander you. That person was most likely dealing with pressures and struggles. That person may have been having a bad day, or may have been under the influence of something, or may have been raised a certain way so that he or she sees things differently. When you try to get inside somebody else's head, it helps you develop an attitude of forgiveness. When you forgive, you remember in a different way.

And yes, you may have to forgive often. Don't think I'm trying to minimize the reality of the pain that you might feel over something that's happened to you: betrayal, unfaithfulness, theft, slander. You may have to go through this forgiveness process multiple times, and that's okay. It's often the way it works. Pain really hurts. Pain that's been inflicted on you really hurts deeply. May take some time for you to work this through. And then there's something else for you to consider. When you're thinking, "Should I forgive? Hmm. Should I"? Well, already God has told you that you should, so that ought to settle it. There's something else: Forgiveness is actually medically good for you. I wonder if you've ever done something that's terrified you, rode a roller coaster, jumped from a high diving board.

As a kid, I swam in the river a lot. And down at the river the boys used to jump off the train bridge, sometimes the car bridge. Not me. Where I swam there were high trees, and one of those trees had a place to jump from way up there. But, you know, I never jumped. I dived from a lower tree but never jumped from the high one. People tried to convince me to jump. Never did, never jumped from the train bridge. I'd stand there wanting to jump, but my knees would buckle, and my heart would race, and my stomach would feel, it's sort of hard to describe, really. I hadn't done anything, but standing there thinking about something that actually couldn't hurt me just tore me up. You've been in a situation where you get sweaty palms and all that? Your thoughts, your emotions, they react upon you physically.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, one researcher suggested that not forgiving can have more to do with an unhealthy heart than high cholesterol. I'm gonna say that again, in case you missed it. Not forgiving can have more to do with an unhealthy heart than high cholesterol. That's amazing. What has been proven is that choosing to forgive lowers blood pressure quite dramatically. One person in Dr. Dick Tibbits' study had their blood pressure drop from 154/102, from 154/102 to 120/80 in just eight weeks. The only change? Forgiveness. A person who is most prone to anger is three times more likely to have a heart attack than someone who is least prone to anger. The truth is anger kills. It's the choices you make that affect your life the most, not what others have done to you. At its core, forgiveness is a choice.

Of course, you have to decide when is the right time to forgive, and there are probably ways that you can be unhealthy about forgiveness. But with God's help aiding your choices, you can forgive and be healthy, physically and, most importantly, spiritually. As a child, growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, I could never escape one line from a hymn that we would occasionally sing. I have four brothers, and my next oldest brother and I very often got along, um, like two brothers might sometimes do. But this line from the hymn would never let me go. It said, "How can we love God above and not our brother"? That spoke to me. The Bible is all about forgiveness, a rebel race forgiven by a loving God. Calvary demonstrates God's incredible capacity to forgive. The sanctuary service, salvation and forgiveness.

Forgiveness will help you deal with the anger and hurt from your past with the purpose of getting back your peace and giving yourself new hope and new purpose. I'll share two stories with you about forgiveness. The first one deals with Sue Norton, who lives or lived in Arkansas City, Kansas. She received terrible news during a phone call from her brother. In January of 1990, her much-beloved daddy, Richard Denny, and his wife, Virginia, were found murdered in their home. Sue's daddy was shot to death in his isolated Oklahoma farmhouse, the mother, as well. The crime netted the killer $17 and an old, virtually worthless truck. Sue says she felt numb. She couldn't understand why someone would want to hurt people who were old and poor. The loss of her father just broke her heart. She sat through the trial of the accused killer... well, of the killer. She was confused about how she should feel. She told me that everyone in the courtroom was consumed with hate. They all expected her to feel the same way. But she couldn't hate the way they did because, she said, "It didn't feel good".

The last night of the trial, she knew there had to be another way. She couldn't eat or sleep that night, and she prayed to God to help her. And when morning came, she had this thought: "Sue, you don't have to hate the man. You could forgive him". And so the next day, while the jury was out for deliberation, Sue got permission to visit the man through the bars of his holding cell. She said, "I was really frightened. This was my first experience in a jail. The man was big and tall. He was shackled, and he had cold, steely eyes". At first, this killer refused to look at Sue. She asked him to turn around, and he answered, "Why would anyone want to talk to me after what I've done"? Sue replied, "I don't know what to say to you, but I want you to know that I don't hate you. My grandmother always taught me not to use the word 'hate.' She taught me that we're to love one another. If you're guilty, I forgive you".

The man thought she was just playing games. He couldn't understand how she could forgive him for such a terrible crime. Sue said, "I didn't think of him as a killer. I thought of him as a human being". People thought she'd lost her mind. Friends would step to the other side of the road to avoid her. But she said, "There's no way to heal and get over the trauma without forgiveness". She said, "You must forgive and forget and get on with your life. That's what Jesus would do". That man spent a lot of time on death row in Oklahoma. Sue would write to him, and she'd visit occasionally. She believes he should never be let out of prison. She didn't want that to happen. But she didn't want him executed. She became friends with the man who killed her parents. Because of her love and friendship, the man became a devout Christian. She says some good did come out of her father's death.

She said, "I've been able to witness to many people about Jesus and forgiveness, and I've helped others to heal. I brought this man and many others on death row to our Lord Jesus Christ". She said, "I live in peace with my Lord. Isn't that worth it"? There are many other stories to tell. Just quickly... You know, I'm not gonna mention the island nation. You might have heard this story, and if you have, you'll figure out where it was. A pastor and his wife and their two children were at home one night minding their business. It may have been that they'd gone to bed. And a man who'd been casing out their home broke into their home, under the influence of drugs, murdered the man and his wife and one of the children, while one child, a daughter, miraculously survived.

So what would you do if you were the missionary pastor's parents living on the other side of the world? A mother had lost her son and one of her two grandchildren in that family, and her daughter-in-law. How would she respond? She responded by traveling to the island nation where the murder took place. She responded by finding the mother of the man who killed her family. She embraced her. She said, "I bear you no ill will. You've lost a son, as well". Her son was locked up in prison. She made it known she certainly held no ill will against the murderer's mother, and she forgave the murderer himself. A pastor began making visits to that prison. And as he did his prison ministry, he met that man who killed the man who did his job a few years before.

That man approached the pastor and said, "I want to talk". He was assured by the new pastor that God forgave him. He gave his heart to Jesus. His life was changed. And he became a disciple of the living Christ, a follower of Jesus. I mean, you'd hardly believe, and it wouldn't have been possible without the power of forgiveness. It will be a remarkable reunion in heaven one day when that man meets the family he so badly wronged. Being believers in Jesus, I expect that they will say, "We're just glad you're here". Is there somebody that God is calling you to forgive? Is God calling you to be a bridge-builder rather than a, a fence-builder? God wants to take away the pain from your heart.

Remember Peter? "How many times do I need to forgive? Seven times"? Jesus said, "Oh, no". And when He said, "Seventy times seven," He wasn't simply saying 490 is the limit. He was saying, "Forgive and go on forgiving. Forgive and continue to forgive". God wants to forgive us. But He can't forgive somebody who harbors resentment and unforgiveness. If you don't forgive others, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you. That's what Jesus said. The world would be a better place, the church would be a better place, your family would be a better place, your heart would be a better place if you chose to forgive.

If it seems as though it's too much for you, it is. But it's not too much for Jesus, who will work in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Shall we tell God today we need Him to work that miracle, to bring forgiveness into our lives, to allow us to be gracious towards others and harbor no hatred? Shall we ask God to take away our burden of unforgiveness, to lighten our load, to make us believers not only in word, but in deed, in practice? We should ask God to do that. What a miracle it would be if we could forgive, truly, deeply, wholeheartedly. Let's pray for that miracle now. Let's pray. Let's bow our heads and pray:

Our Father in heaven, we want the miracle of forgiveness to be worked out in our lives. There's somebody right now struggling with unforgiveness. And they know it's eating them up, hurting them, killing them, damaging them, while not even affecting the other person. Lord, let us have an experience with Jesus that's real. Take away our heart of stone; give us a heart of flesh. Take away hate; put there love instead. Take away unforgiveness; replace it with forgiveness. No malice, only kindness. And if it's difficult, Lord, then we thank You that You'll do it. If we need to go through the process of manifesting forgiveness to another many, many times, then we'll do it, for we want Your will to be done. Don't let us be petty. Don't let us be hateful. Instead, grow us that we can be more like You. We thank You for the gift of forgiveness. We accept Your forgiveness for our sins, and we pray You'd give us grace to manifest forgiveness to others. And we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. And amen.

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