Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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"I Will Forgive, But—"

The Rev. E. L. Hamilton says: "I remember once rebuking a Christian worker for manifesting an unforgiving spirit toward another. At length she said, `Well, I forgive her, but I never want to have anything more to do with her.' I stopped and said, `Is that how you want God to forgive you? Do you want him to say He will forgive you, but He will have nothing more to do with you?' "—The King's Business.

What Is Forgiveness?

A little boy, being asked what forgiveness is, gave the beautiful answer: "It is the odor that flowers breathe when they are trampled upon." The Bible says: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake bath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:30-32).—Selected.

A Spiritual Mind for Spiritual Work

When Leonardo da Vinci was putting on canvas his great masterpiece which the world knows today as "The Last Supper," he became quite angry with a certain man. He lashed him with hot and bitter words and threatened the man with vengeance. But when the great painter returned to his canvas and began to paint the face of Jesus he found himself so perturbed and disquieted that he could not compose himself for the delicate work before him, and not until he had sought out the man and asked forgiveness did he find himself in possession of that inner calm which enabled him to give to the Master's face the tender and delicate expression he so well knew it must have. The conscientious Christian with anything like a real spiritual experience knows how true it is.—William Edward Biederwolf, in The Man Who Said He Would.

After 490, What?

The story has been told of two children, Dick and Dorothy, with a big brother who teased them unmercifully. One Sunday they heard the story of Peter's question: "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" Then they heard the Lord's reply, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Dick had been working out the sum, and he exclaimed: "Look, it's four hundred and ninety times!" The children were silent for a moment, then Dorothy said: "We'll keep a book, and put in it every time we forgive him." "Yes," Dick exclaimed eagerly, "and when it's 490, let him look out!"—Toronto Globe.

The Politest Man

The politest man has been discovered. He was hurrying along the street one night when another man, also in haste, rushed out of a doorway, and the two collided with great force. The second man was infuriated and spoke abusive language, while the polite man, taking off his hat, said very discreetly: "My dear sir, I don't know which of us is to blame for this encounter, but I am in too great a hurry to investigate. If I ran into you, I beg your pardon; if you ran into me, don't mention it." And he tore away with redoubled speed. —Forward.

What Blocked the Revival

We were gathered to pray for a revival. After some hymns and prayers the meeting was thrown open. The silence of death settled upon the audience. Everyone waited. Presently a leading elder arose in a front seat, and said: "I don't think there is going to be a revival here so long as Brother Jones and I don't speak to each other." He left his pew, walked down the aisle, and found Brother Jones, and said: "Brother Jones, you and I have not spoken for five years. Let's bury the hatchet. Here's my hand." The old man returned to his pew and sat down. A sob broke from the audience, and then there was silence again. Presently I was witnessing the strangest scene of my life. For ten minutes men and women crept noiselessly about the house, squaring old scores. Then God began to visit them. Operatives in a factory nearby heard what was going on, and at the lunch hourmany of them came over. The pastor preached to them the simple Gospel, and within five minutes the ringleaders in sin in that community were crying to God for mercy. A revival broke out that swept over the district for three years."Baptist Teacher.

Her Cure for Headache

At a women's meeting the subject of cures came up, and a newcomer was asked to give her experience. "I guess you will think it a funny cure," she replied. "Once, years ago, I had a dread­ful headache. I hadn't slept a wink the night before. I was grieving about a friend who had not treated me right. I was going over and over what I would say to Mehitable someday. Then I saw a big grudge was growing up inside me. `Now,' said I, 'suppose she really did do it. Is that any reason why you should grow a grudge?' So I began forgiving her as hard as I could, and soon I just loved her. And when I had thoroughly forgiven her my headache was gone, and I felt nice all over. After that, whenever I had a headache or pain, I practiced going away by myself and forgiving someone and it worked wonderfully." "Did you always have someone," asked the minister's wife, "to practice on?" "Dear me, no, I ran out of folks to forgive long ago, and about the same time I ran out of aches and pains, too. I haven't lost a day in bed in forty-five years." There was a pause, and Miss Everett, with shining eyes, said: "Ladies, I move a vote of thanks to dear Aunty Glen for a very inexpensive cure. And I move that we also adopt and practice it."—Youth's Companion.


Forgiveness of those who have wronged us is very difficult but very Christ-like.

It was told of Governor Stewart, a former governor of Missouri, that on one occasion he was examining a convict with a view to pardoning him. He recognized in the man a former mate of a river steamboat on which he had served as a cabin boy. The man had been notorious for his cruelty to those at work under him on the boat. In handing him his pardon, the governor said: "I want you to promise that you will never again take a stick of wood and drive a sick boy out of his berth on a stormy night, because some day that boy may be governor and you may want him to pardon you for another crime. I was that boy! Here is your pardon!"—William Chalmers Covert, in Westminster Teacher.

Unwilling to Contend

Misjudged by a fellow missionary, Livingstone gave up his house and garden at Mabotsa, with all the toil and money they had cost him, rather than have any scandal before the heathen, and began in a new place the labor of school and house building, and gathering the people round him. His colleague was so struck with his generosity that he said had he known his intention he never would have spoken a word against him. Parting with his garden cost him a great pang. "I do like a garden," he wrote, "but Paradise will make amends for all our privations here."Sunday School Times.

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