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Oxymorons

September 21st, 2009 Posted in encouragement, essentials, Pastor's corner, sermons

We have all heard of various oxymorons that are commonly used. For instance . . .

  • Freezer burn
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • “Found missing”
  • Deafening silence
  • Genuine imitation

These are all self-contradicting terms. I have a new one to add to the list . . .

Unforgiving Christian

If you are a true Christian, then you must forgive others. Forgiven people must be forgiving people.

That’s because, as fatally flawed people, we are going to sin. We are going to hurt one another, whether it be intentional or unintentional.

Husbands will offend wives, and wives will offend husbands. Parents will hurt their children, and children will hurt their parents. Family members will offend one another.

Why should we forgive?

We might ask, “What if the person who has hurt does not deserve forgiveness?”

My response would be, did you deserve to be forgiven by God? The answer is no.

Therefore, since God has so graciously forgiven you, you should in turn forgive others. The Bible tells us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

A real-life example

You may have heard of Corrie Ten Boom. She tells her amazing story in the book, The Hiding Place.

During World War II, Corrie, along with her elderly father and sister Betsy, were sent to concentration camps by the Nazis for hiding Jewish people in their home. Corrie’s father rightly believed that the Jews were God’s chosen people and that, as a Christian family, they should do what they could to help them as the extermination of Jews began throughout Germany.

The Gestapo became aware of the Ten Boom family’s activities and told them to turn over the Jews they were hiding and stop offering sanctutary to them or else risk being sent to the concentration camps. The Ten Booms refused, and they were all arrested.

Corrie’s father and sister both died while incarcerated. But Corrie was released because of a “clerical error,” which was really God’s providence. She went on to live a long life traveling the world as a self-described “tramp for the Lord,” telling people that there was no pit so deep that God was not deeper still.

She also spoke on the topic of forgiveness, for she had to forgive the cruel men who took the lives of her father and sister.

Tomorrow, I will share with you an amazing story about the time when Corrie came face-to-face with one of her Nazi captors who extended his hand to her in friendship.

What would you do if you were in her shoes? What she did was an example of what we all ought to be–forgiving Christians.

8 Responses to “Oxymorons”

  1. Sharon says:

    We must forgive one another, “even as God in Christ has forgiven us”… The important question is, how did God forgive us? This is how we must forgive others. God forgave me when I repented. Likewise I must forgive. Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him.”- Luke 17:3.

  2. Mariana says:

    Forgiving someone can be hard for us sometimes, specially when taking the “first step” into it, but I’ve learned that once I just let it go and let the Lord take away those thoughts of trying to hold on to a grudge.

    Ephesians (I think) talks about the sins we commit in the mind, and all of them have exterior repercussions… mostly health issues. So having the root of bitterness (the only one I can remember right now) is not a good thing to carry around in our hearts, specially, cause that keeps us from fulfilling the plan the Lord has for our lives.

    It all comes down to trusting the One who can give us the strenght to forgive.

    God Bless you Pastor Greg! And thanks for sharing :)

  3. Anne Maltes says:

    I still think Microsoft Works is the best one…

  4. Bridget Willard says:

    That’s great.

  5. Janice Bischoff says:

    This needs to be told so often in churches. Unfortunately, that’s where I see the most unforgiveness. I find it really sad that we who have been completely forgiven of all our sins can’t forgive out own brothers and sisters in Christ.

  6. Jason says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. God is using this post for His glory and through working forgiveness in my heart that is long overdue.

  7. Karen Johnson says:

    That post was such a beautiful reminder of the kind of people we are to be. Corrie Ten Boom is an inspiration, and I hear her story in a new way now that we’ve also lost our son. What grief she must have experienced, and yet she was able to forgive her enemies. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks for your example of persevering faith. May the Lord continue to comfort and bless your beautiful family.

  8. diane says:

    Awesome teaching!!! Thank you!

    I heard you yesterday and the minute you said “oxymorons”, I turned to my daughter and said, “He’s going to say “women drivers”. But you didn’t!!

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