At a Global Disciples training in Sri Lanka, God used this session to expose one of the greatest obstacles to good healthy relationships: A lack of forgiveness.
When we don’t forgive others or ask forgiveness for our own wrongdoing, it hinders our intimacy with God. He has forgiven us for everything—and He wants us to do the same with others.
As the Sri Lankan participants shared their experiences, one man said, “God showed me who I need to forgive including my parents and my sister. And I remembered my former church too—I need to ask them to forgive me. God shed his blood for me and He forgave me, so I need to forgive them as well.”
Another carried deep wounds from the past. But he said, “I see how God forgave others, and that I need to forgive. I see that when I forgive others, God will take care of it, and reveal everything. My hurt and my pain are in a storeroom and it sometimes comes out. I decided I need to clean out this storeroom, and when I go home I will ask forgiveness.”
One man mentioned a specific incident he needed to resolve. He said, “A person came to attack my father. I just wanted to kill that person. Now I need to talk with him, and go and ask him for forgiveness.”
The need to forgive, and to be forgiven is a problem we all share. It doesn’t just belong to these brothers in Sri Lanka where 26 years of civil war ravaged the country—pitting north against the south and neighbor against neighbor.
We all need to forgive. And when we forgive—and seek forgiveness—our relationship with God and others is renewed and refreshed, and we are free to be used by Jesus to reach more people with the Good News.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins, Mark 11:25.
The Lord reminds us numerous times in the Bible that we are to forgive others, as He has forgiven us. However, in a world plagued by sin, it can be difficult to master the art of forgiveness when there’s so much evil and wrongdoing going on around us. Even still, we are called to forgive. Here are some stories of disciple-makers around the world experiencing the power of forgiveness:
Makena attended a Global Disciples leadership training to develop her skills as a servant leader, and grow her ministry. The Lord spoke to her during a lesson on forgiveness, and she was convicted to swallow the pride she’d held on to for years and forgive an enemy. She says, “I received an amazing healing from within. A heavy burden freed from certain bondage. The wound that was in my heart healed, and I felt great joy and peace. God restored me.” She now uses her ministry to reach others who are bound by an unforgiving spirit, by teaching them the same lesson she learned during her training.
During discipleship training, Mikyle encountered an unreached people group that had experienced severe persecution from an opposing religious faction. The Holy Spirit led him to focus on the concept of forgiveness, since many of these men were consumed with resentment and anger. They had been forced to consume human waste, and their women had been raped repeatedly. Still, Mikyle preached forgiveness. He shared the testimony of a woman who had been physically healed, and explained that internal healing, as a result of forgiveness, is just as necessary for spiritual liberation.
Gahiji’s parents and siblings were all murdered during the Rwandan genocide. While ministering in his local prison, Gahiji came face-to-face with the men who killed his family. According to Rwandan law, if the surviving victims of a family appeal the sentence of those who killed their relatives, the murderers will be released. The Lord convicted Gahiji to forgive these men, and liberate them from incarceration. As an obedient servant to the Lord, Gahiji not only forgave these men for their heinous crimes, but appealed to the government for their release. He even threw a party to celebrate their freedom, and invited the families of the murderers, as well as his own wife and children. At the party, he personally forgave each and every man, with tears streaming down their faces. After sharing this testimony of forgiveness, numerous guests gave their lives to Christ.
The Lord says, “if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him.” Ask the Lord who He is calling you to forgive today, and allow yourself to experience the same freedom from bondage as the obedient servants above.