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I’ve Been Harboring a Fugitive

vintage bookThis is my second time reading The Cure: What If God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall, and as we discussed last week, this chapter is about forgiveness.

As I reread these words, I decided not to rush past them–to allow God to expose some areas of unforgiveness that I didn’t know were even there. I don’t really hold a grudge, but I do sometimes makes excuses for people and justify their hurtful behavior to me. In essence, I give them a pass and pretend that I’ve done the work of actually forgiving.

I cannot forgive until I admit I’ve been sinned against. This is an invitation to stop hiding the sin someone else has committed against me. To forgive, I must admit what is already true…

Harboring enables the sin that was committed against me to define me! No more. Remember, unresolved sins are buried alive, even the ones carried out against us. We must take our time. God is there, nodding and smiling at the courage coming from our trust in Him. –The Cure

As I went through the process and order of forgiveness outlined in this book (see below), I gave God permission to bring it all to the surface. I took my time, and I wasn’t angry about any of it. I just wanted true freedom.

I will say at this point that nothing anyone did to me was particularly heinous in nature (or at least not directly against me), but that was part of the point. Anything I’ve tried to let go of without true forgiveness has the propensity to come back and cause a problem. I don’t want someone else’s sin to define me.

That’s when I began to hear this verse in my spirit like I had never considered it before.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2

I always read and thought of letting go of the “sin which so easily entangles” as my own. I had never considered that it might be someone else’s sin entangling me.

Jesus completely defeated sin on the cross and demonstrated His authority through the resurrection. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to put it in its proper place and enforce the victory of Jesus. That sin someone committed against you and you said it wasn’t that big a deal, it’s entangling you because you didn’t bring it back to Jesus.

In reality, you are harboring a fugitive. Jesus dealt with that sin on the cross, and you and I have no right not to treat it as He did. He paid too great a price to ignore forgiveness.

You fix your eyes on Jesus and turn to His cross. That gives you the grace and freedom to forgive and walk in the light as He perfects your faith.

What are your thoughts? Do you ever sweep things under the rug or are you vigilant about forgiveness?

For those interested, I would highly recommend you take some time and ask the Holy Spirit to go with you through “the Order of Forgiveness” as found in this book. It’s a great guideline that could bring wonderful freedom to you! Of course, there is so much more to every one of these points in the book, but you would get something out of it, if you simply followed these steps.

  • Admit something happened
  • Get in touch with the consequences of the act done to me
  • Tell God what happened to me
  • Forgive the offender for my benefit
  • When the offender repents, tell him you’ve forgiven him (for his sake)

cure2Welcome to week 2 of Chapter 5 discussion of The Cure (disclosure) by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Once again, we’ll be taking 2 weeks per chapter as these are dense and thought-provoking words. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. Good point about Heb.12 jason. I had not given it that thought either. But it makes sense since we are often tied down due to the sin of someone else.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..RelevanceMy Profile

    • Love it when God changes things around on me and shows me something different. 🙂 Thanks Bill.

  2. I try to be quick to forgive and not to “sweep things under a rug”, but as I read this a couple of areas came to mind where I have made an untidy mound under said rug. As you said, I don’t want other people’s “sins” to define me, I struggle enough with my own. I need to set some time aside to clean out from under the rug.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Entrusting Ourselves to GodMy Profile

    • So true. I don’t need to deal with junk from others… but I do it way too often. Thanks so much, Dusty.

  3. Thanks Jason. This is very helpful. I sometimes find myself pulling things from the past that I thought I let go of once that “last straw” is dropped. I can see that i didn’t really forgive the other things, but I had thought I did. I never thought about the difference between sweeping it aside and true forgiveness. Those steps seem like they will be helpful.

    I hope you and yours are well.

    • I’m a pro at sweeping it aside. I think I’m being noble. Or I’m too busy. Or who knows what else, but like I said, it’s not gone and I didn’t forgive. He wants true freedom for us! Thanks Helen! We are doing great. Hope you are as well. 🙂

  4. Jason, I really like that application of the Hebrews 12 verses. Any sin we carry around is a burden, even the sins of others. I love when God opens our eyes and allows us to look at His Word a new way. That’s one I will remember. Blessings and thanks!
    Deb Wolf recently posted..The Important Difference Between Grace and KindnessMy Profile

    • I know! It’s such a blessing. Love how Holy Spirit leads us! Thank you, Deb.

  5. I hadn’t really thought about forgiving others like this before…acknowledging their sin, taking it to the cross and forgiving them.
    I can see how this can be really healing and liberating.

    • It’s something that has been really helpful for me. The biggest thing for me though is to keep coming back to it. There’s the maintenance aspect of it all that’s so powerful. Thank you, TC.

  6. These words from this post, Jason, rang in my heart: I don’t want someone else’s sin to define me.
    About four years back, I encountered a most trying situation in my teaching job. To make a long story short, I resigned as a result of bullying and false accusations. I realized, just today again, that I cannot see a school bus on the road without reliving this horrific experience. You have so helped me to see that I am holding on to the sins of others and continuing to let it define me. I turn it over to Jesus, here and now.
    Yes, I thought I had forgiven, and maybe I have. Yet, it needs to go deeper still. Praise God that this can happen now!
    Blessings to you from a thankful heart!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..“If You Just Smile . . .”My Profile

    • Wow, Martha. I know those traumatic experiences can be so hard to find healing from. Forgiveness is such a huge part of it. So thankful these words could help in any way. Praying for His love and presence to surround you! Blessings to you too, Martha.

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