Sins of the Fathers
“Forgive” Conversation Starters §
What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?
Discuss Sin and dysfunction within a family sets patterns that can affect generations to come, but those patterns can be broken. §
Are there patterns of dysfunction from your family of origin that you hope to break?
Breaking the generational pattern of dysfunction starts with forgiveness. §
Who do you need to forgive?
Do you struggle with forgiving the people that have hurt you?
Truly forgiving someone can be extremely difficult to work through. There are at least five steps to work through to reach a place of true forgiveness. The first step is to restore an attitude of love. It can be easy to look past your own brokenness, and see the sins of others as their defining traits. §
How can you begin to see others as God sees them?
Are you willing to admit that you are just as broken, sinful and in need of God's grace as the people that have hurt you?
"If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother " (I John 4:20-21, ESV). The second step is to release the past. Though we may never be able to forget the injury caused us, we can choose not to live in the pain of that moment. §
Are you holding on to memories that cause anger and resentment to swell in you?
Will you pray for God to help you let go of the past?
Sins of the Fathers
“Forgive” "Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends" (Proverbs 17:9, NIV). "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11, NIV). The third step is to reconstruct the relationship. Reconciliation should be sought, but boundaries may be necessary. Though you may choose to forgive, the offender must choose to address the wrong they committed. These next two scriptural concepts should be considered in conjunction: "If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if its personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4, Msg). “[There are people who will be] unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no selfcontrol; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless...You must stay away from people like that” (II Timothy 3:3-5, NLT). §
What type of situations might require forgiveness from a safe distance?
Have you ever found yourself stuck in this painful predicament?
The fourth step is to reopen the future. Forgiveness is never conditional. However, that does not mean placing yourself in an abusive relationship. The fifth step is to reaffirm the relationship. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (I Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV). Working through these steps may be a long, painful journey. Jesus spoke of forgiveness as a lifestyle, not simply an event.
Sins of the Fathers
“Forgive” "Then Peter came to [Jesus] and asked, 'Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?' ’No!’ Jesus replied, 'seventy times seven!’" (Matthew 18:21-22, NLT).
Next Steps §
What steps can you take to restore an attitude of love toward someone you need to forgive?
Will you begin to reach out and reconstruct your broken relationships?
How can you be more intentional about making forgiveness a lifestyle?
Pray Thank God for the grace He has shown you, and ask that He fill you with love and a spirit of forgiveness for the people that have hurt you. Pray for healing and reconciliation for everyone working through the process of forgiveness.
Suggested Resources from The Grounds The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend