TISDALE UMC - 17507 US 160 WINFIELD, KS 67156 - 620.221.2607 - tisdale@pixius.net
Tisdale United Methodist Church
Monday, September 25, 2017

Mark's Sunday School Review

 

Things seem to have been a little bit out of sorts lately. Between my crazy, busy schedule and being gone from church last week, I have not been very consistent or timely with my emails as of late and for that I apologize and ask your ‘forgiveness’.

 

In Pastor Lee’s message, “Forgiven and Forgiving”, he spoke of the gift of forgiveness which we have received from God and the importance of sharing that forgiving with others and ourselves. In Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 21-35 Jesus tells Peter of the importance of forgiving and used an example of the slave who begged for forgiveness and then was unwilling to forgive.

 

Forgiveness is hard thing to do, whether it is forgiving someone who has wronged us or forgiving ourselves. Being unwilling to forgive hurts no one but ourselves.

 

One of my favorite books is “The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. In chapter 8, Andy speaks to this point of forgiveness. I thought it would be good if I shared it audibly with the class. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. It was done without any prep and took longer than I had thought. It didn’t get to the point as quickly as we needed for the time we had. So I ask for the forgiveness of the class.

 

In this book David Ponder is traveling through time and meets with six famous people and an Angel. In chapter 8 the person he meets is Abraham Lincoln. Below is the message that President Lincoln gives to Mr. Ponder…and to all of us.

 

The Compassionate Decision

 

I Will Greet This Day With a Forgiving Spirit.

For too long, every ounce of forgiveness I owned was locked away, hidden from view, waiting for me to bestow its precious presence upon some worthy person. Alas, I found most people to be singularly unworthy of my valuable forgiveness and, since they never asked for any, I kept it all for myself. Now, the forgiveness that I hoarded has sprouted inside my heart like a crippled seed yielding bitter fruit.

No more! At this moment, my life has taken on new hope and assurance. Of all the world's population, I am one of the few possessors of the secret to dissipating anger and resentment. I now understand that forgiveness only has value when it is given away. By the simple act of granting forgiveness, I release the demons Of the past about which I can do nothing and create in myself a new heart, a new beginning.

I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. Many are the times when I have seethed in anger at a word or deed thrown into my life by an unthinking or uncaring person. Valuable hours have been wasted imagining revenge or confrontation. Now I see the truth revealed about this psychological rock inside my shoe. The rage I nurture is often one-sided, for my offender seldom gives thought to his offense!

I will now and forevermore silently offer my forgiveness even to those who do not see that they need it. By the act of forgiving, I am no longer consumed by unproductive thoughts. My bitterness is given up. I am contented in my soul and effective again with my fellow man.

I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly.

Knowing that slavery, in any form, is wrong, I also know that the person who lives a life according to the opinion of others is a slave. I am not a slave. I have chosen my own counsel. I know the difference between right and wrong. I know what is best for the future of my family, and neither misguided opinion nor unjust criticism will alter my course.

Those who are critical of my goals and dreams simply do not understand the higher purpose to which I have been called. Therefore, their scorn does not affect my attitude or action. I forgive their lack of vision and forge ahead. I now know that criticism is part Of the price paid for leaping past mediocrity.

 

I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself. For many years, my greatest enemy has been myself. Every mistake, every miscalculation, every stumble I made has been replayed over and over in my mind. Every broken promise, every day wasted, every goal not reached has compounded the disgust I feel for the lack of achievement in my life. My dismay has developed a paralyzing grip. When I dis- appoint myself, I respond with inaction and become more disappointed.

I realize today that it is impossible to fight an enemy living in my head. By forgiving myself, I erase the doubts, fears, and frustration that have kept my past in the present. From this day forward, my history will cease to control my destiny. I have forgiven myself. My life has just begun.

I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly. I will forgive myself.

I WILL GREET THIS DAY WITH A FORGIVING SPIRIT.

2006 “The Seven Decisions”, Andy Andrews

“Forgiveness is a secret that is hidden in plain sight. It costs nothing and is worth millions. It is available to everyone and used by few. If you harness the power of forgiveness, you will be sought after and regarded highly. And not coincidentally, you will be forgiven by others!”

 

Abraham Lincoln

 

Now I ask for your forgiveness for this long email.