The Thing About Forgiveness

Does God toss your sin into the sea of forgetfulness?

No. He tosses your sin into the sea of forgiveness.

Here is the scripture that believers misconstrue all the time. It probably came from a preacher trying to make the scripture understandable.

Micah 7:18-19 – New King James Version

V18: 

Who is a God like You,

Pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,

Because He delights in mercy.

V19:

He will again have compassion on us,

And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

A ship wrecks and the wreckage sinks to the bottom of the sea and over the ages it decays rusting and being covered by algae and other bottom dwelling sea life. The remains of the ship are still there. It may become forgotten over time but in reality the ship will forever be at the bottom of the sea.

My favorite scripture about God’s forgiveness is that when we are repentant, he removes it from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). My fifth grade teacher explained that the east and the west are parallel invisible lines, and because they are parallel the east will never meet the west. That means God will never bring up our past sins against us once we’ve taken it to Him.

What a blessing, right?

Back in Fall of 2019, in October, I had to walk out forgiveness with an employer that let me go. There were a lot of factors that played into it. It’s not like I was the best business asset ever. But it hurt so badly for numerous reasons. I still had to see this person at church. Anyhow, the Holy Spirit taught me a lesson using the scripture about forgiveness in Matthew 18:15-35.

The first part is about how to handle offense and when someone sins against you. Followed with the parable of the unforgiving servant. I encourage you to read the scriptures yourselves and spend some time with the Lord, if you harbor any bitterness or unforgiveness toward anyone.

For me, I realized we never have the right to be upset with anyone or to hold onto it when they have wronged us, because ultimately God forgave us when He had every just reason not to do so. Majority of the time, people don’t even know they’ve offended you or can’t comprehend why what they did was so wrong to you. Other times, your preconceived notions can make you draw the wrong conclusion and you get offended over nothing. That is why talking to your offender is so important, so your wrong thoughts don’t motivate unjustified feelings within you, and cause you to act poorly and un-Christ-like.

Even the person who hurt you the deepest requires your forgiveness, according to scripture. 

Many will preach forgiveness is for you, which isn’t a lie, but forgiveness is vital for the Body of Christ to be healthy. The Body of Christ needs to be healthy so we can become the Bride, Christ returns for, but above all, the world will always be against us because of Christ Jesus. We don’t need to be against each other within our own body of believers.

Also, when we forgive we don’t need to forget what the guilty party did to us. In fact, we should be aware of it so we can see if the other party truly has changed from their past ways that wronged us to begin with. 

Let’s take a page out of God’s book. Humanity sinned which could have been unforgivable but God decided to forgive humanity anyway. He sent Jesus to bear the blame for sin to pass His judgment. To receive God’s forgiveness, we only need to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. But as scripture shows us, we need to embrace a Christ-like nature to show we appreciate and accept God’s forgiveness by choosing to live our lives in a way that pleases God, not a life that angers Him. We cut our ties with purposely sinning and the Holy Spirit, thanks to grace, is around to haunt our conscience to lead us to make good, godly decisions. As we read scripture more and we pray, we build a mindset that is Christlike, which changes our thoughts and our emotions to honor God more, and we make choices to act more godly than sinful. We will never be perfect, but if we live biblically, which is admitting our faults when we have them and choosing to do differently in the future, we are on pretty solid ground.

God forgave us and then decided to build a greater relationship than before with humanity.

1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Everyone loves to quote it, no one likes to live it. The love chapter claims love holds no records of wrong, which means not to hold someone’s wrongdoing against you, toward them, in the future. We should treat everyone and people with a clean slate everyday.

Of course, this logic is easy to digest in our minds and seemingly impossible to do in real life.

That’s when it hit me recently, when I heard a sermon about God’s judgement toward His children. The pastor ended up talking about idolatry and I realized for me (for example), if I chose not to forgive my mother in the present, for behavior she committed in the past, that meant I made an idol out of my concept of a ‘good mother’ and presently resented her because she didn’t meet my expectations. Part of fully forgiving my mother is rooted in tearing down the idol of what I think a great mom is.

Me, having unforgiveness toward my mother not only creates opportunity to sin in more ways than one (like not honoring my mother, complaining and murmuring about her, gossiping about her, etc.), but if God forgave me for all the things I’ve done, the things I’m doing, and the things I will do that are outright against God, then surely I can forgive my mother for how she treated me in the past (which overall wasn’t terrible at all).

Truthfully, with all the abuse and neglect my mom suffered growing up, she could have used that as an excuse to abuse me, but she didn’t. And her shortcomings as a mother had to do with her brokenness that only God and time could mend. But she did three things right that she should never apologize for, (1) she introduced me to Jesus the Messiah, (2) she told me often that she loved me, and (3) she didn’t keep me away from my earthly father.

Like God the Father doesn’t bring up to us who we used to be every time we hang out with Him, we shouldn’t do that to the people we’ve forgiven.

Lately, I’ve been accused of having bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart over my time at Valor Christian College and World Harvest Church. A few people have reached out to me to lovingly correct me (based on false doctrine) and advised me to forgive and to move on.  Let me say this clearly, the one leader that hurt me the most I have ended things on good terms and it took longer then I realized, but I truly, fully forgave them.

The reality is, I was treated the way I was treated (by this particular leader) because one: of the false doctrine they were taught, and two: their shortcomings, which we all have.

If I had any unforgiveness and bitterness toward my leaders at Valor and WHC, trust me, the WORLD would know. To be honest, I don’t have anything personally against Rod Parsley. I don’t even know the man. I observed a lot about him and I’ve made my fair share of assumptions but all people ever reported to me about what he thought of me was a good report. Therefore, as I said, I have no reason to have anything against Rod Parsley personally.

What I have a problem with and what I won’t relent about is the fact he is a false teacher and a false prophet. I’m learning things about the man, from people messaging me, that only confirms he promotes false doctrine. 

I want to help others break free from the deception and get healing. Anyone reading this that went through some stuff at Valor and World Harvest Church, go to counseling. If you need someone to talk to, message me, and I will not share what we discuss. It will stay off the record.

First and foremost, if you have walked away from God after leaving that place, I want you to know what you were taught about faith there wasn’t the true gospel and it’s okay to step out in faith and pursue God again.

Secondly, if you graduated from Valor and you still believe in the ministry and that place, you are free to feel that way. I strongly encourage you to pray and to ask God if Rod Parsley is a false prophet or not, if you get an answer not supported in scripture within context, I will personally think you didn’t hear from the Holy Spirit. And that’s okay… I thought Trump was going to win a second term easily and I would be a best-selling published author by now… The Enemy will tell you what you want to hear. Regarding this matter, sit in the posture of humility and ask God to lead you into all truth regarding Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

I was watching this terribly dark show once and this half-human and half-demon character said, “The truth doesn’t set you free. It puts you in a prison…” (Judge me all you want, I won’t hide the fact I have watched bad programming for my soul in the past… and sometimes still do, but thank God I have a genuine desire to be more selective about what I watch now.)

I thought what a lie! Then I thought about what the character meant.

I had to admit I failed at my desire to follow God’s perfect plan for my life. I had to admit I missed the mark on being obedient to Him. I had to admit I lacked a healthy, biblical fear of the LORD. The truth hurt and it hit my heart hard, but that was only the human side of the truth.

God’s side of the truth is that He delights in showing mercy. God’s side of the truth is that after I asked Him for forgiveness, He removed all that sin from me as far as the east is from the west. God’s side of the truth is that as long as I have breath in my body it isn’t too late to die daily to myself and to obey Him. God’s side of truth is grace, and where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

I implore you to study the topic of forgiveness and to discover love cannot bloom without a commitment to continuously forgive. And the reality is that God won’t forgive you if you don’t forgive others. Don’t be a doormat and tolerate mess from someone, have some respect for yourself, but also, don’t cross someone off your list because they burned you so bad. Give them another chance– as many chances as it takes just as long as they don’t abuse your kindness and use you.

And another thing, join me in praying for Rod Parsley and his staff. That they break free from the deception and repent. Because I have gotten a few, somewhat positive, messages, and one message (that I got permission to talk about) shared how they got saved at a WHC service. They grew spiritually a little bit while attending there, but then the LORD opened their eyes after they experienced and saw some things that weren’t biblical. They really began to comb over Rod Parsley’s teaching and realized not all of it aligned with scripture. They left and haven’t gone back.

A thing to note is that the gospel works and Rod Parsley tells it on occasion, but majority of the time he promotes the prosperity gospel or Word of Faith heresy and it loses more sheep than it keeps. It was the gospel that saved the person who shared their testimony with me and Rod Parsley was graced to provide that opportunity, however, that person still could have gotten saved hearing the gospel at another church, because it is the gospel that saves not the speaker sharing the gospel.

Forgive and move forward, and never forget… remember how God forgave you and that is the only reason to forgive others.

Much love,

Brianna-Monique


*Edited by Kristen Wenneborg

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