Archives For forgiveness

In this episode of the CrossTalk podcast, Sam Dominguez, James Sumners, and Wes McAdams discuss why it feels so strange for someone to say, “I forgive you.” Why does it sound so condescending, or like the person is blowing things out of proportion, when he or she says that they “forgive” the other person? Sam, James, and Wes have a spirited discussion about why apologizing is not the most important part of this process. We hope you are edified by this discussion.

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It seems there are a lot of people who wonder, “Am I good enough to go to heaven?” They wonder if they’ve done enough good, if they’ve helped enough people, if they attended worship services enough times, if they have taught enough people about Jesus. And then, on the other hand, they wonder if they’ve been too bad to go to heaven. I want to attempt to answer some of these questions.

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My last post addressing the question, “Is it Time for Churches of Christ to Fellowship Other Groups?” has sparked a great deal of discussion concerning the issue of unity. I would like to share with you a thought about why I believe the church struggles so much with this issue of unity.

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Imagine walking into an expensive restaurant and seeing an old friend, already enjoying his dinner. When you see the half-eaten feast on your friend’s table, you think to yourself, “Wow! He’s really pigging out tonight. That’s going to be huge bill.” You wave to your friend and he waves back. When you finish your dinner the waiter brings your check. To your surprise, the waiter has added someone else’s meal to your ticket. “What’s the meaning of this,” you ask the waiter. The waiter replies, “Your friend said you wouldn’t mind picking up the tab, so we put his meal on your bill.”

Personally, I would be outraged with such a person and I would no longer consider that man a “friend.” Are we doing the same thing to God?

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I hear constantly, “Well, that’s probably not a good thing to do, but it’s not a sin.” Or even, “That might be a bad thing to do, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a sin.” It is very interesting to hear people talk this way and I wonder if we have any idea what we’re saying. I wonder, do we really know what it means to “sin”?

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[box] Special thanks to Daniel Dalp for today’s guest post. You can read some of his other other great posts on his blog, “Common Sense and Providence.” Also, make sure you follow Daniel on Twitter @D_Dalp.[/box]

If you’ve ever listened to an old vinyl record, for those of you who haven’t, the same concept applies to CD’s, you know what happens when there is a scratch. You’ll get to a certain point on a track and all the sudden it repeats. Again, and again, and again. It’s SO frustrating when it happens on a particular song that you listen to frequently. No matter how many times you reset the record, or wipe off the CD, every time you get to that scratch the error repeats.

Something I struggle with frequently is what I call “Broken Record Syndrome”. One of the easiest ways to diagnose this condition is through examination of your prayer life. If you notice any of the following are present in your life you might have a very big problem:

  • Asking for forgiveness and promising to do better– only to continue living in sin
  • Your prayers become repetitive-from day-to-day, you find yourself asking for forgiveness of the same sins
  • You begin to form a calloused heart- sins no longer cause you to feel sorrow or shame, you don’t care
  • A consistently inconsistent walk– frequently switching from the straight and narrow to the wide and broad
  • You begin to blame others– blaming God for not helping you enough with sin, without taking initiative yourself.

Notice how these symptoms all involve that “broken record” mentality. BUT don’t give up hope; instead consult with the Great Physician! He will be able to do the following:

  • Provide you with a way of escape
  • Supply you with a caring church family to fall on
  • Listen to your prayers, and answer them
  • Point you in the right direction
  • Prescribe a healthy dose of His Word to give hope, direction, and growth

Remember, when your life and prayers become like a broken record, don’t give up hope, turn to Christ. But, keep in mind that He can only change you if you go to Him. A doctor can’t help a patient unless they seek treatment and follow the doctor’s orders. Obedience. Without it, treatment is impossible.

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
(Matthew 9:12-13)

Just a thought,