Friday, April 19, 2024

Worshippers told of forgiveness


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IT WAS a night of praise, worship, public testimonies, dancing, sharing and, of course, feeding the spiritual and physical man.
This all took place when members of Trinity Ministries International met for their Old Year’s Night service at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
Just after 3:30 a.m. the last worshippers were making their way from this Wildey location after spending more than five hours in fellowship.
The night’s thought-provoking message, preached by Reverend Mike Critchlow, was entitled Choose To Walk In The Freedom Of Forgiveness.
Taking his main texts from Matthew 18:21-35, Matthew 5:14-15, Luke 23:34 and Ephesians 4:30-32, Critchlow first sought to point out what forgiveness was not.
He said it was not “an external, being politically correct performance”; something to be imposed by another; feelings, forgetting [the hurt which was done to you]; denying that an incident occurred; granting your approval to the incident; pretending you were not hurt or putting yourself back into the same situation [after granting forgiveness].
He stressed that, “forgiveness is not possible without the help of the Almighty; it is a personal choice; an inside job and not an external performance; making a decision to move on with your life and choosing to release the hurtful experience”.
He added it was also “refusing to constantly talk about the hurtful experience; refusing to seek sympathy for yourself by retelling your hurtful experience; refusing to damage people’s reputations by constantly retelling the story; sincerely requesting God, through prayer, to bless those that hurt you; refusing to seek vengeance; choosing to reconcile where possible and advisable; choosing to live with love instead of hate; peace instead of bitterness; freedom instead of bondage; blessings instead of curses and choosing to live in obedience instead of disobedience”.
Critchlow also told those in the packed sanctuary that forgiveness was important to avoid self-imposed medical challenges; living in bondage to one’s past, and it was necessary to fulfil your God-given potential.
He also told his listeners “forgiveness is key to following the example of Jesus Christ and to demonstrate no one is bigger than God; to avoid self and family destruction and to free up the church to grow and fulfil its mandate”.
He described unforgivingness as a silent destroyer of lives, families, teams, churches, and various organizations.
“[It is] like drinking a slow acting poison on a daily basis while waiting for the other person to die.”
He noted that the person who chooses not to forgive “can cancel God’s intended blessings for [their] life”.
“The person who benefits the most from your forgiveness is you,” this preacher told his listeners.
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