Let Go

What is forgiveness? What does it really mean?

Have you had questions on this matter? I have my questions on forgiveness. I want to do it, but I want to understand some things. I am sure am not alone here. Let me take you through 5 questions I have grappled with over the years;

  1. Is forgiveness giving up justice? Yes, forgiveness is unfair. Human justice focuses on revenge (an eye for an eye) and punishment (you must pay for what you did). Forgiveness does not offend justice, but it goes beyond it! It is an act of mercy – a gift to the offender and to the offended.
  2. When I forgive, am I expected to forget? Of course not! I cannot forget what someone did to me. And nobody expects me to forget. Only God can forgive and forget. Forgiveness means I will not seek for revenge or use what someone did to me as a weapon against him or her. File closed.
  3. Does forgiveness mean living with continual hurt? We are talking about a cheating husband, an abusive boss, a toxic friend or a wicked sibling. No, forgiveness does not mean condoning a wrong – like abuse, cheating, etc. It means I let go off the past but I insist on the standards. Forgive over an over again. (Luke 17:3 – forgive as many times as it takes)
  4. Does forgiveness mean reconciliation? Do I have to go back to my spouse, hang out with the offensive boss or build a close friendship with my conman sibling? Forgiveness does not necessarily lead to reconciliation. In some instances, reconciliation is not desirable. Where possible, it is a blessed fruit of forgiveness. Reconciliation restores the relationship!
  5. Is forgiveness possible without an apology? Yes, it is the offended that chooses to forgive. Apology makes things easier but it is not a prerequisite to forgiveness. True apology is a desire and commitment to change (repent)! For his own freedom, the offended party should decide to forgive in spite of the attitude or state of the offender.

This week I came across a story in the gospels that gives a great perspective to this issue of forgiveness.

Read Luke 15:11-31

v.21 – Apology invites forgiveness. How often do you say sorry to your friend, spouse, workmate or sibling? Apology comes from a humble heart.

v.22-24 – Forgiveness is an act of grace. The prodigal said he was not worthy to be called a son; the father treated him like a favorite son. Forgiveness extends grace. After you forgive people, treat them as forgiven. Don’t keep on bringing it up or mentioning it to others.

v.25-32 – Unforgiveness locks you out of the party! The elder son was too proud and self-righteous to let go. He was holding on to his anger. For some of us, our feelings of unforgiveness, resentment, anger and bitterness have so defined us that we prefer the shackles.

Forgiveness sets you free!

Forgiveness is a decision to let go. Let go of the charge against the offender. Let go of the toxic feelings against the offender. Let of the right to be mad and the right to revenge. Let go of the past and move on. Forgiveness brings closure.

Forgiveness sets you free!

Forgiveness brings with it desirable fruits:

  • Personal and communal peace – Leave it to God; you do not have to do anything! (Prodigal experienced peace, the dad as well. The elder brother had a choice to make)
  • Personal and communal freedom – Shackles of hate, bitterness and resentment are broken. Freedom to move on and live in joy and dignity. (Dad & prodigal)
  • Possibility of reconciliation and love – In relationships, marriage, between communities and across generations, forgiveness heals wounds and opens doors for love. (The prodigal was admitted back to community – he was back home)

Forgiveness sets you free!

Forgiveness opens a door for healing. You don’t have to wreck your marriage; freedom can turn it around. You do not have to go to work angry or bitter. Let go of the past hurts from your boss or colleague!

Forgiveness sets you free!

  • SELF – some of us need to forgive self for something stupid that we did – an affair, a lie to someone, a relationship we wrecked, an abortion we procured or paid for, etc
  • ANOTHER – Some of us are bitter and resentful cos of what mum, spouse, friend, boyfriend, a relative or a boss did to us. Or dad. Or even the church. It is time to let go, and walk free…
  • OTHERS – Have you been offended by the authorities or institutions – the government, the police department, the church, the politicians, or the State? Forgive and set yourself free.
  • GOD – Some of us are mad with God. Where was he when I was being raped? Abandoned? When my beloved was dying? How could he let that happen? Let it go dear… Forgive and walk free

Friends, forgiveness brings out the best of humanity. Mandela reclaimed his dignity and impressed all of us when he forgave his enemies and worked with them to build a new South Africa. We saw the best of Kenyans during the post-election violence. I remember a man who forgave those who killed his three children and their mother. And worked with them to restore peace in the neighborhood.

I remember a friend of mine, a virgin at 26, who was carjacked, gang-raped, and contracted Aids in the process. The gang was arrested, charged and jailed. She later went to see them in prison to communicate her forgiveness and minister to them. She led them to Christ,

Forgiveness sets you free!

Friends, it is time to forgive. Imagine us – free from the hurts of childhood. Free from workplace hurts. Imagine a people that have refused to be shackled by the wounds from both spouse and friends. Imagine you living a lifestyle of forgiveness and walking in freedom.

Make the decision. Forgive. Set yourself and others free.

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21 Responses to “Let Go”

  1. Gods child Says:

    Hi pastor S,

    Sadly I missed the sermon today but its all to the Glory of God.The sermon is soo deep and touches my life soo personally.All I can say is that it takes strength to forgive and everyday one has to pray and tell God please be with me because you are all I have and let me receive peace in forgiveness. Some situations are soo bad that the justice people seek can never repay the wong done.
    Here is my story!

    My baby’s father denied partenity after being in a relationship for four years hence I’m a single mum. Thereafter, I changed jobs (I needed more money to raise up this child). My new boss made a pass on me and when I put my foot down he fired me. I was jobless and the sole breadwinner. I’d no savings because previously I had to pay hospital bills for delivery and my baby was born with jaundice so we stayed in hospital for two weeks after delivery.

    The 1st week of April 2012 I came to church with a baby on my back (I had ksh 200 in my pocket and that baby had to eat, rent had to be paid}. I requested you to say a prayer for I was sooo hurt wounded, broken, betrayed, bitter, uncertain etc. And the God of grace heard that prayer opened a 1 month contract in an international NGO hence my absence.

    Prior to coming to church in anger and bitterness, I’d told someone to get me a gun and I was going to cripple my former boss. I’d also taken my baby’s father to court. Also I had asked to meet this successful prostitute so that she could train me on how to make a living.
    All these didn’t materialise because somehow I aknowledged that It will cause me more harm than good and I told God I’m surrendering to His will and He will give me justice and whatever I need He will provide in abundance. I cant wait to come back home and join the group that gave their life to Christ on Easter Sunday.

    By the way Ive never been at peace this much!

    Like

    • Wow God’s Child,
      That is such a powerful testimony, that God has reached out to you in the midst of all this, and He is teaching you true love in the lesson of forgiveness, hold on to God, and His peace that surpusses all understanding will always be with you.

      Like

    • Wow God’s child,
      That is such a powerful testimony, and may God continue to give you the word that you need, so that you grow in Him, hold on to God always, He truly is the answer to everything.

      Like

  2. I had a problem of forgiveness coz one of my pals did something evil to me but when I shared it with my boyfriend, he told me not to forgive. But now I have gotten a reason to forgive him. Thanks for the help.

    Like

  3. Hello pastor S,
    I attended last Sunday’s sermon and watched how many pple had been wronged and were willing to forgive at that that’s commendable.
    However, I couldnt stop wondering how comes I had no one to forgive? Not that iv not been wronged quite on the contrary but iv always taken the saying to err is human!!
    I dont know if its a good mantra to forgiveness but it sure has worked for me. I made a decision a long time ago to be happy and to be free and when pple wrong me im always like “its their loss” and i move on swiftly.
    i didnt have anything to write on the piece of paper on Sunday because i realised i dont even notice nowadays when pple wrong me- sounds weird- but I am awesomely filled with bursting joy that surpases human understanding.
    Forgiveness is the ultimate cure of that Bile that has killed the self for most pple. It is my prayer that most pple discover this before the HATE chokes them to nothingness.

    Like

  4. No forgiveness Says:

    How do I forgive a man who I feel has taken all my joy from me, my happiness, my luck, my innocence? How, how?

    Before I broke up with my baby daddy we came to see you Pastor S, hoping that you will pray for us or tell us something that would keep us together, but luck wasn’t on our side – you were out of the office and I saw it as a sign to move on. It’s been 2 years now since the separation, I still remember vividly all he put me through, with the dates and time, I find myself lying to my friends and pretending to be whole again and happy, but I’m messing up, should I seek counselling, will I heal?

    How do I forgive him? Can God work a miracle on me and let all the pain disappear and forgiveness dwell in me? I can’t go on being bitter but I wish I could do something to him to make him pay for all the suffering he caused me…

    Like

    • Gods child Says:

      I went through such (the man brought me his knew girlfriend so that I see how well he is carrying on with life) and my friend, you are being soo unfair to yourself. The baby daddy is stealing your joy, peace and happiness. It’s not easy and it takes time to move on with a child coz that’s constant reminder of pasts. But the sooner you look at the bigger picture the better, otherwise you’ll be regretting your whole life courtesy of someone who doesnt care.

      Focus and be selfish; change your approach and work on your own life let him find you making and building your life. Find hapiness and peace in other things but not in that relationship. Confide in someone whose been through a hearbreak and moved on. I personally prayed to God for direction. I also started going to church and joined a jogging club and started helping this single mother of four childen from four different men find bearing in life.

      And the transformation has been amazing I sleep and I enjoy every moment with my son without longing for his father’s presence. Avoid his circles and bar his calls or any communication, including facebook..Just MOVE ON!! You’ll find yourself forgiving yourself and himself.

      Like

    • jane mumbi Says:

      @ no forgiveness,i wont say its easy to forgive after all the pain he caused you but its possible from experience. i once was hurt by my baby daddy wen he said the baby was not his but i thank God becoz i decided to leave everything to Him and God gave me so much peace that i no longer think about the guy.just be strong let go and let God,pain will disappear with time.forgiveness is the best revenge God bless u.

      Like

    • 1 Corinthians 13:12
      Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
      I send u this verse and encoourage yoy to Set urself free 4rm all bitter hate and anger and allow yourself to be happy my dear, for what is ahead only He knows.
      Nobody said it is easy to forgive but nobody also said its impossible…

      Like

    • Hi un-forgiveness.
      There are three things I have learned with life i.e. LIFE GOES ON
      In all things God works for good with those who love him, who are called to his purpose (Read Romans 8- very inspiring)
      I could partially relate to your story.
      I thank God you have been praying about your issue, I just don’t know what you have been praying for though :-)
      Esther walked in the palace as a PEASANT GIRL but walked out as a QUEEN, you walked into this past Lent season with bitterness and walked out of it the same because you forgot Jesus is the resurrection. He destroyed ‘the temple’ in 3 days and re-built it again. He can therefore resurrect in our dead finances, marriages, families, health, relationships, broken hearts and quest for God. We no longer live but it’s Christ that lives in us and in all our lives situations, he strengthens us and therefore we are are more than conquerors

      I wish you had more faith my dear. Enough to remind you that the Lord has been your Psalms 23, your Jireh for you and your baby’s needs and best of all that He brought you to a service at Mavuno that will change your life totally. I believe the only reason He hasn’t responded to your prayer yet is simply because you have not surrendered your life to Him (deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him). No temptation has overcome you that is not common to man, God is faithful and will restore you in the end. Life is not a bed a roses and trials and temptations are there to build us. I urge you to dance in the rain. Jesus is still at your door knocking waiting for you to open and let Him in, make him your lord and savior by casting your burdens unto him, he cares more than your ex or anyone would. This is when your faith is tested the most, only God can change us. Let Him in your life and your situation. He is faithful, thank and praise him, ask for forgiveness for your own and your ex’s sins and trust him for your needs.

      Once you let him in, healing will set in, forgiveness will set in, a new caring hubby might come or he may come back… basically your wars will turn into worship. Get back to the battle field in the full Armour of God because It is always well in the END, If it is not well NOW, then it’s DEFINITELY it is not the END. The devil has taken away what you had but God-Our resurrection will create a new. Be still and know that he is God. Be the change you want to see in your life. Currently i’d urge you to focus on what’s important that is your son, yourself and God. Your tears, sorrow, pain, struggle so far have been seen by God, Vengeance is the Lord’s you will hurt more when you try to revenge let Him vindicate you.

      Stay blessed.

      Like

  5. Hi Pst S,

    I have read the story of the prodical son several times in my life, but i have never seen it the way you brought it out on Sunday.

    My big sis and i have had issues with my mum and for a long time. We have struggled with forgiving her. There are efforts that have been made without much success. However, our 3rd and 4th born have a different relationship with her. We guess she realised the mistake that she we made with us. For a very long time i would see her talking to our 3rd born sister and they would laugh and i would wonder how and if at one point i would ever laugh with her like that? After all the bad things that she said to us when we were younger – she completely killed our inner man with her demeaning words and insults and made us feel like we didn’t belong; to an extent we doubted if we were her real kids. And she believed she was doing the right thing and she didn’t owe us an apology which we really longed for.

    But question 5 of your sermon answered my question, that i can forgive without an apology from her and that unforgiveness locks me out of the party like the elder son in the story of the prodical son.

    It actually hit me that i have also been a contributor to locking me out of the party i.e laughing with my mum and sister due to unforgiveness. i have surrendered that issue to Christ and asked him to give me the strength to forgive her and let her go. Probably with time i can also join the party and experience the best of humanity through forgiveness.
    May God bless you Pst S.

    Like

  6. Dear no forgiveness…I feel your pain and disappointment. I acknowledge the hurt you must be feeling. However what I understood from the sermon is that forgiveness is “giving up”….”giving up things should be a certain way”…..giving up “expectation”….giving up “being right” about the way it is.

    Once that is done, the grace that is forgiveness can permeate your soul. There is no room for forgiveness when one is filled with the rage and disappointment. It is akin to a vessel being full. You can’t add anything to a vessel that’s full. May you experience the Almighty’s grace to forgive and work a new miracle in your life. That only happens when you allow him to do so. Create that space….give up…give up. Surrender that space to the redeemer.

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  7. Kindly upload the sermon on You tube. Thank you :)

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  8. I asked God for the courage be able to send a mail to my ex because a phone call was no option. I did send an email to say that I forgive him for the pain he caused me. He was bewildered and said he wasn’t going to respond to that. He had been very cold and contemptuous to me the whole of last year and it was really painful. I had forgiven him but would occasionally feel anger. I feel freed by the message I sent. It was a good idea to acknowledge the hurt by informing my offender and extending forgiveness. Thanks pst. S for the sermon, it gave me the courage to do what I had dreaded to do. I was surprised to find out that my ex doesn’t even think he hurt me. I am glad he now knows. God bless you pst.

    Like

  9. bitter no more Says:

    My boyfriend and close friend of two years got me pregnant, and sadly he bailed on me and left me with insults. It hurt..so much. But i decided i was going to keep my child. i told my family and sadly my mother rejected me. I was hurt. i felt rejected and alone, but still a small joy inside me coz i was excited about my child. sadly i lost the child and that was the biggest blow. i got extremely bitter and angry.

    I used to tell myself that if i saw that man again, i would push him in front of a bus or train…and the worst thing is i meant it. The bitterness reflected in all my associations, including my job. A close friend one day advised me to forgive him, and i thought to myself why should I?? Why should he get so lucky…free from responsibility..free from guilt then now i forgive him..NEVER!!

    But i prayed about it, and told God to take up my burden. and it was difficult letting it go…because it had become my baby. I wanted to hold on to resentment and bitterness. But He came through for me. It was like a weight lifted…FOR REAL!!! I sat that man down one day and told him my experiences, my lows and the loss of the child. i didnt try and look for guilt or remorse in the man…nope. I told him inspite of all those things, i choose to forgive him.

    I can say i am slowly forgetting the ordeal, but it changed me. I’m not bitter anymore. So No Forgiveness…i can relate with your dilemma in some way, but i urge you my sister, let go, forgive, it will be the best thing. And i am sorry about what you went through, i really am.

    Like

  10. Hi pastor S!
    Honestly i wasnt feeling you and i felt like telling you to get a life (sorry) but now i feel we are in the same world and planet.
    I have been hurt and wounded a million times and i have all the right to revenge.
    You just answered all questions i had and why i have to let go. Honestly you just ruined all my plans of revenge but saved my energy, resources, and a jail term. Well i will hand over my gun to the police but it felt so cool. I wont wish my pain to anyone. Am tired. I have decided to let go and kiss my past goodbye. I want to be free. Its hard to let go when your not even offered an appology. I forgive all. I do not know where to start but atleast this is somewhere.
    Thank you for this series and bringing me to a point of fresh start. For the first time am crying in my life. Honestly am hurting and i know i will heal in time. God bless you.

    Like

  11. maisha810 Says:

    Good morning Pst. Simon. I trust the Lord is keep you well. I watched this movie with my wife and daughter yesterday and felt that God was speaking to us more about your current sermon series. You probabaly may have watched it. It’s titled ‘The Grace Card. It illustrates the everyday opportunities that people have to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God’s grace.Please recommend it to Mavunites. A must watch for those seeking to be ‘Unshackled’.
    This is a brief on the movie. Good day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grace_Card

    Like

    • Blessed and Forgiven Says:

      Hi Pastor S,

      My Soul Says Yes’ but …
      Being childless for 13 years ….
      My husband, my best friend and my support walks out of our marriage …
      My business partners swindle me out of our partnership a million dollar business …
      And the stigma of bareness pushes me to depression, suicidal attempts and the society shuns me, talks about me and reject me…
      And just recently I was in a bad road accident incapacitated …divorce went through …then I gave a good friend a deal for 5M which he didn’t deliver hence I lost my job …..
      My friends …sorry I have none anymore ……
      I was in church last Sunday, I heard you, ofcourse mine was an “Nkt”
      Yes the cross, I hear you the cross ….
      Job lost everything in a couple of hours
      I have lost everything in a couple of 2 years or so… Marriage, Family, Busness, Career, Health ….
      The devil has got nothing on me now …Thank God

      Am shaking my head trying to find the words ….

      Let go …The Cross … Surrender ….

      How?

      How?

      I know God defines me ….Lakini kuna venye hata simfeel …Like Moses I may need a burning bush ….

      Does anyone feel me when you feel uselessss with an ssssss!

      I didn’t even say my x-husband is going out with my young friend who I mentored …who invited me to Mavuno :( and also my nieces best friend … Lol!

      Life is truly amazing…

      I need help and like juzi not yesterday …I thank God …I thank God because he is faithful.

      Like

  12. Hi Ps. S,

    This series couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I avoid church with a load of excuses to self but last Saturday evening I had the strongest urge to hear what the Unshackled series is all about. I didn’t want to hear it but I need to hear about forgiveness.

    I had a couple of people I needed to forgive including my baby daddy. Surprisingly that wasn’t hard at all. There is just one person I cant bring myself to forgive. My mother. Reading this blog has been eye opening and very therapeutic thanks to the sermon and the testimonies but I am still bound with rage, anger and hatred for my mother and what drove me to church last Saturday was that it gets bad by the day.

    You see, for as long as I can remember, I have been the least favourite child to my mother. Even house helps were treated better than I. She had nothing good to say about me, and no matter how hard I tried to please her, it was of no use. I then tried to do what I love and all I got was discouragement.

    When I did make it in life, I did fell pregnant with a man who went into hiding and as you can imagine I didnt hear the end of it from my mother, in a bid to make them happy, I moved back home and concentrated on finishing the degree I had neglected. It was the hardest thing for I had to bear with my mother indirectly calling my a hooker, her going through my things, messages and letters and using whatever she found to fight me. She said things that werent true about me to my father and siblings and humiliated me at every chance.

    All the hurt made me hard headed and at some point I graduated from the offended to the offender. I told her hurtful things just to get her off my back. And avoided her like plague despite living under one roof.

    Its been that way for an year now and that anger and hatred i felt for her and others ruined all the relationships I had and all I have today is my daughter. I have no friends or famiy to talk to.

    Lately my life has started to shape up and she is discouraging me again only this time she is letting me know what a bad mother I am and Il get worse without her. I know its not true but it enrages me to a point I could hit her.

    I will be honest. I have no interest or need to forgive her. The pain i carry because of her is overbearing, and my logical mind is screaming nobody is worth that pain. I am setting myself to pack and move out with my baby as soon as possible and just shut her out of our lives. Forgiveness takes energy, faith and prayer while I dont want to even think of her for another second of my life. Harsh I know but my heart has lost all strength to face or deal with her. As in her case I not only need to forgive but I also seek her forgiveness something I doubt I will ever get from her.

    Another thing that makes this all hard is, I cant pray. I just cant bring myself to pray, not for food not for anything. Because of the hurt I wronged God in so many ways that I dont feel Worthy or have the right to ask Him for anything not even his forgiveness. And even so, its hard to believe He will hear and answer me. If it was not for Him, I wouldnt be alive today, what more can I ask for when He Keeps protecting and providing for my baby and I?

    I understand the sermon, and it makes so much sense but my heart is neck deep in hate and I dont I dont know how to get out. Exercising the above is so hard, i just want to forget it all and move on.

    Like

  13. Readthisinchurch Says:

    Dear Mavuno,

    Pst S and Pst M i need you to read this to the church.. i am a businessman. 3 years ago i was working in partnership with a ‘company’ that we were meant to have a long term business relationship with. We had lengthy discussions, was introduced to the Director by a trusted friend, we did one or two small deals that went well. One day they came up with a proposal to do a joint deal worth Ksh 500,000. We were to jointly invest Ksh 250,000 each. After elaborate legal paperwork, numerous visits to each others offices and apparent guarantees, i deposited my Ksh. 250,000 into their ‘company’ account…

    Get this..hours later..all phones for all members of the other company went off!! No communication for a day made me worried..i dashed to their office the next morning..it was not in existence anymore!! I HAD BEEN CONNED!!! We are a small company so almost all our company capital had just been defrauded..Rushed to the bank we deposited and insisted on getting information of the account holder against the policy of the bank. The manager sympathized and offered us the little information she could give..The account closed immediately after our money was deposited!!!! This was by far the worst day in all my years of business.

    Thanks to my police friends, we caught up with the mastermind, he was arrested, charged and is now serving 7 years in prison. He has completed about 2 years. When in court, the judge gave us the option of settling out of court but i refused. His wife pleaded with me to be lenient but i still refused. I vowed if this man would walk free i would organise for him to be lynched to death by Kibera thugs. my family and friends told me never to forgive the man and let him rot in jail forever if possible.

    That was 3 years ago. I battled with unforgiveness for this entire period. Thank you for this months message. i wrote his name on the papers we filled and posted it on the cross and that was the last day i had to think about what happened and how he wronged me to the point that my business almost closed down. I plan to make a trip to where he has been imprisoned outside of Nairobi and tell him that i have forgiven him and will help his family cope with his absence until he is released. I am now free and at peace. Thanks Pst S for this message.

    Like

  14. am reading this inside the sermon,in tears there things that am trying to forgive and its not as easy as you put it,i have a baby shes 6months old and i have insane inlaws am not married bt i live with my boyfriend and when i was a month pregnant my mother in law wanted me to abort n even went to an extent of offering me ksh.10,000 to do it i cldnt i kept my baby my boyfriend supports us fully but the mother is always bringing up issues making my life hell,spreading lies and rumours about me my family she manipulates me to get her way am honestly tired she has done worse things that i cant write here but the worst is forcing me to abort my baby which i did not and i still dnt know if i can forgive her in the near future but am trying to accept things n try let go of this anger n bitterness
    patricia.

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