There will come a time in your life when forgiveness will become your overriding preoccupation. You will either do something so shameful that you don’t think you can ever recover, or, you will be hurt so badly that you think your heart will break. Either way, all you will be able to think about is forgiveness.
Can I ever be forgiven?
Can I ever forgive?
Can I ever get over this?
This five-session Bible Study will prepare you for that day. This study complements Nancy DeMoss’s book, Choosing Forgiveness.
Each lesson consists of 20 ready-to-use questions, along with answers from well-respected authors. If you can read 20 questions, you can lead a Bible Study.
Throughout this book we’ll be looking at what forgiveness is and what it isn’t, exploring it in the light of the Scripture, delving into its promises while debunking some of its myths. We’ll talk specifically about how we go about doing it, how we actually put God’s grace and mercy into practice, as He has done with us.
But nowhere in the best of principles and insights I can offer, nowhere in the Scripture, will we come upon a magic word or a secret formula. Forgiveness is not a method to be learned as much as a truth to be lived. The concept of forgiveness will hardly be foreign to most who read this book. It’s unlikely that you will discover many, if any, profound new insights in these pages.
For most of us, the problem isn’t that we don’t know about forgiveness. The problem, as I’ve witnessed it in one life after another (including my own far too often), is either that we haven’t recognized and acknowledged the unforgiveness that’s in our hearts, or that we simply haven’t made the choice to forgive.
In urging you to choose the pathway of forgiveness, with all its risks and difficulties, I don’t intend to imply that what has happened to you isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. What you have suffered is real.
You may have endured unspeakably evil treatment at the hands of a close relative—or a trusted friend or a complete stranger. There may be tender areas of your life that can hardly bear to be touched, due to past—or present—circumstances that you still cannot bring yourself to share with another.
I don’t want to belittle or minimize the experiences that have made a painful imprint on your soul. In fact, though some may insist you need to “forgive and forget,” the truth is, forgiveness at its best requires that you face how badly you’ve been hurt.
But along the way, we will discover this hard yet healing truth: whatever sin has been committed against you, the choice not to forgive is itself a serious sin. In fact, failing to forgive can often bring about problems in your life far worse and more long-term than the pain of the original offense.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2008).