4 Gifts of Honor: Part 3 Forgiveness

01.Mar.2011by Karen in First Steps· 2 comments

Today we look at the third of four gifts that encapsulate key factors that enabled me to successfully honor my parents.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. “If you let the sun go down while you are still angry, the devil is going to have a foothold in your life.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Parents and children always have a history. The blame cycle begins. It was something they said (or left unsaid). It was something they did or did not do. It may have occurred in your childhood or perhaps happened more recently.

This pattern of thinking, often unconsciously, leads us to the familiar conclusion: I am a victim. It is not my fault. The situation is not my responsibility. There is nothing I can do.

One glaring flaw in this line of thinking is Ex 20:12. It does not say only if you have nice parents or only if you get along or even only if they are believers. The verse simply states, Honor your parents. Period.

The first step towards change is an attitude adjustment. No more victim-thinking is allowed. The past cannot be changed. The present is your responsibility.

Now there is the choice. In forgiveness you choose to no longer hold on to anger or the desire for revenge. If you fail, you will experience an angry heart, resentment, bitterness which defiles many.

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

The greater the battle, the greater the victory and the greater the glory for God.

With God’s help, it is possible to understand why you are the way you are. You need to forgive, for your sake as well as for theirs and for your children and your children’s children.

Ask the Lord for tangible ways to redirect the thoughts and emotional energy spent on victim-thinking into expressions of forgiveness. For some, it starts with saying “I forgive you” or “I love you.” For others, it might show up in a more physical action.

Forgiveness is the foundation on which to build hope for the restoration of relationship. The parent may never be able to make things right. The damage is done. It can only be forgiven. Even with a difficult history you can learn to love and honor your parents.

Forgiveness opens the door for sensitivity, to get in their shoes to see what life looks like from their perspective.

I do not mean to sound glib about this. There are many terrible situations out there. Yet God, who is all-seeing and all-knowing, certainly knows the very worst possible parent scenario you could imagine. And still, God issues the command to all children everywhere to honor their parents. He never gives a command we cannot obey. With God, all things are possible – even giving them the gift of forgiveness.

Additional Resources

We may respond to personal hurts that result from expectations or experiences by withholding forgiveness. The person most damaged by this choice is us. God in His word teaches that His choice is for us to forgive.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Beth Moore have each written a book that will help you work through the scriptures that relate to forgiveness. Although not specifically written about relationships with parents, the scriptural principles shared do apply. Only when we know His peace can we really care for our parents as His servants.

Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Through scriptures, stories, and examples Nancy Leigh DeMoss will help you better understand why God is so emphatic in the need for us to choose to forgive.

Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life by Beth Moore

Beth Moore draws parallels between the captive Israelites in the Book of Isaiah and any believers in bondage today. A study guide is also available.

More in the Series

The titles of each of these gifts came from an online sermon about treating parents right.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James 11.Mar.2018 at 11:52 pm

plus offering extras which can announce this kind of the main benefit of the skepticism.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: