In my 57 years of ministry the most talked about sermon I have had the privilege to come up with has been TOTAL FORGIVENESS.
Whenever I preach Total Forgiveness I get the greatest response of people coming forward to forgive. What is more, I suspect I could go back to the very same congregations two or three weeks later, then preach the same sermon again and get the same response!
Why? Because totally forgiving people that have hurt us is the hardest thing in the world to maintain. People do it instantly. But later forget. Fall back into the same old trap of “telling what they did”, pointing the finger, throwing up the wrongs. This is why I preach that total forgiveness is a “life sentence”: you have to keep doing it – on and on and on. A good way to maintain this is sincerely to pray for these people – every day. Every day. Just to remind you, we know we have totally forgiven when (1) we don’t tell “what they did”; (2) don’t let them be afraid of us; (3) don’t let them feel guilty – or wait for them to be sorry; (4) let them save face; (5) protect them from their darkest secret; (6) remember it is a life sentence – that is, you do it as long as you live; and (7) you pray for them – that God will bless them.