Welcome to “The Global Story,” a weekly glimpse into how God is at work through the global Body of Christ.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. For a leader, for a disciple-maker, for anyone who wants to be fruitful in serving the Lord, forgiveness is essential. That’s why our Global Disciples training model includes a specific teaching session on forgiveness – seeking it, and receiving in. This is often a session God uses powerfully in our training.
In our leadership training, the person leading the session on forgiveness often uses a bag or pack full of stuff to illustrate the load we carry when we hold onto our hurts and anger instead of forgiving.
One of our African staff was teaching the session recently to Nigerian church leaders. She shared her own story of her relationship with her father when he took a second wife. She and her siblings were very angry and bitter; it took years before God brought her to a place of forgiveness. She made a journey home to ask her father to forgive her, and to extend forgiveness to him. It was a key step in her father coming to faith in Jesus. However, she realized some time later she also need to seek forgiveness from her step-mother and she made the trip again. In telling her story, she unloaded the pack, and dumped the trash on the table.
The next day, one of the leaders in the training shared, “I was searching my heart. Have I really forgiven everyone? I shared with my life group something that happened 48 years ago but was never resolved. This is an issue with my mother and my stepfather. All our relationships have been at the surface level since. Yesterday I was convicted that I need to go back and ask forgiveness and extend forgiveness to those family members.”
Learning to forgive – and seeing it put into action – often leads to greater things for these leaders. It removes stumbling blocks to true discipleship and opens the door to greater fruitfulness. As we equip the Body of Christ to multiply disciples, we need to see God work out forgiveness in our lives too.