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Tomm Wilson about Forgiveness

Sunday, March 27, 2022 (14:00)

Today I heard a speech by Tomm Wilson at Tallinna Kristlik Vabakogudus. Here is my summary.

As Christians we have a great chance to learn forgiveness. Without Christ it is almost impossible to forgive. We must hold ourselves at a higher standard than the world. We have always things that create conflict. But if we are real Christians, we are able to forgive.

We all want to receive forgiveness. And we received it through Jesus’ death (atonement, Lamb of God, redeemer…).

Mt 6:12 (“and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”) tells us that if we don’t forgive, then we won’t be forgiven.

Before we showed any interest in God, he already gave his forgiveness. That’s why if we don’t forgive, we are not like Jesus, we don’t feel compassion. The only reasonable thing for a Christian to do is to forgive others.

Whenever somebody sins against us, there’s a good chance that we did the same to other people.

Mt 5:22-24 : Such a simple solution to forgiveness! When I became a Christian, I imagined that Christians don’t sin against each other. I learned that I was wrong. The difference is that instead of being angry with each other for days and weeks, we forgive on the same day.

Mt 18:21-22 : some translations say 77x, others say 7x70 times. These numbers are symbolic. They actually say that we must forgive an indefinite number of times.

Example: We are 42,5 years married. If my wife or I would say “1 sin per month… 42*12=504… Ha! Now I’ve forgiven you more than 490 times, my duty to forgive is over!”, then our marriage would probably not reach its 43rd year.

That’s what Jesus says.

But forgiveness is a choice. Nobody can force me to forgive. If you choose to not forgive then you constantly suffer from:

  • bitterness

  • being suspicious of new relationships

  • resentment

  • anger

To not forgive harms you more than anybody else. If unforgivingness is not treated, it eventually invades the whole body. An unforgiving heart is like a small piece of cancer. You only save yourself by choosing to forgive.

Life with forgiveness:

  • peace

  • happiness

  • trust

  • being open to new relationships

But its our choice.

For example the story of Pete and Judy McCreary

When you forgive, then you are the most like God.

Two questions:

  • Is there someone you need to forgive? (Hint: Often there is one top favourite in your list)

  • What is preventing me from forgiving? (Hint: Pride? Fear? Laziness?)

Feedback

  • The top favourite in my list is somebody who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (About narcissism) and is unable to forgive. My lesson: I must forgive him for suffering from this disorder. When I read this speech to him, his first reaction was: “Did Tomm say these things in the same threatening tone?”

  • Forgiveness is highly political at the moment. My Prayer for disarmament was partly inspired by this speech.

  • Same direction Forgiveness: The Hardest and Most Life-Changing Thing We Can Do