The Connection Between Praise and Forgiveness
By Bruce Hebel –
Helping someone find freedom through forgiveness involves helping them to give praise. The connection between praise and forgiveness may be the classic question, “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Does forgiveness bring praise or does praise bring forgiveness? I found that when people reflect on how much God has forgiven them, they are much more eager to forgive others. God’s forgiveness brings praise from us and motivates us to forgive others.
When someone violates us or wounds us, in pride we often say, “I would never do that.” Yet the truth remains that we are all capable of sin at any level. A good buddy of mine says that he has broken all of the 10 Commandments, either in thought or in action. According to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, that is true of all of us. Let’s face it—we have all messed up. We all blow it from time to time. The great news is that God loves us anyway and has forgiven us.
If you can help someone redirect their focus from the offense against them to God’s graciousness toward them, you will see a dramatic reduction in their emotions against the person who has offended them. I have found an effective tool in helping move people from complaint to praise. When someone shares with me a complaint against someone else, I ask a series of simple questions. The conversation goes something like this:
“What did he do?”
“He lied to me.”
“That must really hurt. I hate it when someone lies to me.”
““It makes me so angry.”
“I can see that. Have you ever lied to someone?”
“Have you ever lied?”
“Well, … yes … I have.”
“How did you want to be treated when you lied? We all make mistakes, don’t we? Aren’t you glad that God is gracious to us when we do things like this? Why don’t we praise Him for His grace toward us?”
It is amazing how transformational that type of conversation can be for someone who is hurting. Praise puts everything in proper perspective and produces a humility that opens the door for forgiveness. God expects forgiven people to forgive others. It helps when we remember how much we have been forgiven!
AUTHOR QUOTE: “God expects forgiven people to forgive others.”
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47 NET).
Today’s devotional is by Bruce Hebel, Forgiving Forward Seminar Speaker, President of ReGenerating Life Ministries, and Adjunct Professor at Carver Bible College. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in ministry for over 35 years.