[0:00:00] Lois: Hello everyone and welcome back to the R. F. W. P. Podcast where we are seeking truth and finding God’s heart. My name is Lois and this is part two of our series on forgiveness. And I’d like to introduce you to my co host that you are aware of Emily Louis.

[0:00:26] Emily: Hello, I am ready for Part Two.

[0:00:27] Lois: Yeah, I just want to say if you have not listened to part one, Not that we don’t want you to listen right now, but I encourage you to go back and listen to part one because uh this part two will make more sense to you and I think you’ll be able to follow along better. So yeah, I am, I think I’m ready for part two. This is such a heavy subject and it’s not just a simple thing, but I’m so thankful, honestly thankful for the opportunity to walk through this. I had just recently talked to um some younger people, you know, I have a lot of jen’s ears that float in and out of my house and it just connected with some of them um on this subject regarding forgiveness. Um, and some of them have been through, you know, light things where they forgive somebody and they feel like they, because they want to reconcile. They let them back into their lives too quickly and don’t put up boundaries and then they end up getting hurt again all the way to really heavy situations um where they been truly, either physically emotionally, mentally or sexually abused by by a sibling or by someone else where, you know, the that takes years to process and walk through. So if you’re just jumping on with us, I just want you to know that we are not taking the biblical concept of forgiveness lightly. Um so, but thanks for joining with us today. Yeah,

[0:02:22] Emily: so as we get started for this episode, we’re going to talk about a unfamiliar bible character and this, this bible character, I guess I knew him, I knew like maybe you heard his name, I’ve heard this second. Samuel taught through the bible, but I hadn’t really spent much time focusing on it. But my brother in law um Andrew he has a message on this bible character. And as we were preparing for the episodes on forgiveness, he reminded me of this sermon that he’s brought around a Hipfl. Now I hit the felt was

[0:03:14] Lois: I can’t say that name, you said it and I, you know, there’s some bible names that I can say and I’m like uh what? And I just, I’m like, Heffalump and whistles, that’s where I went with that. But yes, I am, I’m looking forward to you reading this passage and explaining this and we are going to get back to the story of joseph, but we felt like this was really important um in the context of forgiveness. So, I’m looking forward to you sharing about a healthful, Did I say that? Right? Not

[0:03:56] Emily: happen? We have a

[0:03:56] Lois: winner.

[0:03:58] Emily: So

[0:04:00] Lois: We’re in 2nd Samuel,

[0:04:02] Emily: right? And I’m going to read because this story kind of jumps all over the place. We see him pop up through the story in multiple places. So I’m going to read from got questions dot org. Um, just because it summarizes things really well and I’ll give you some references. You can go check, but a health official was originally a counselor of King David. He was uh, one of the people that spoke into David’s life, but he’s also well known for betraying David and aiding absalom in his rebellion to overthrown overthrow David’s kingship.

[0:04:40] Lois: So there there’s a, there’s a legacy you wanna leave for your kids?

[0:04:44] Emily: No, Yeah, so much. There. So a hit that Phil was well known for his advice. So much so that absalom followed a hit. The Phil’s advice, just as David had done for every word a hit. The Phil spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God. In that second Samuel 16 23 because I had to fill had the gift of wisdom. Wisdom. But after absalom captured Jerusalem. Health officials. First piece of advice To him was that he sleep with his fathers conflict. Concubine in a public manner. So as to become a stench in your father’s nostrils, um, which is in second Samuel 16 as well. And to strengthen his following. And in those days, I’m just going to keep reading from got questions in those days, taking possession of a king’s concubines was a declaration of one’s right to the throne and this fulfilled God’s were to David after his adultery with bathsheba. This is what the Lord says out of your own household. I will, I am going to bring calamity on you before your very eyes. I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you. And Um, that’s in 2nd Samuel chapter 12. So absalom followed this advice from a healthful and perform this wicked act on the top of the palace roof for all of Israel to see. And when Absalom began his rebellion, King David knew that hit the Phil’s advice would be dangerous In the hands of his son. Uh, and during his escape up the mount of Olives, David prayed to the lord that hit the feels council would be turned into foolishness. I just want to stop here because what we’re getting to is the root of why would a hit the phone? Give such bad advice to Absalom And why would he be motivated to do that? Because this is the connection that it blew my mind when my brother in law taught it. So Absalom asks his counselors what should be the next step And I hit the ville says to pursue David. And um this is eventually the demise of Absalom. When he does this, his his mind ahead. The fells is scrambled and yes, did David asked that his counsel will be turned to foolishness. Yes. But I think it was also clouded by um, his judgment was clouded by some situations that had happened prior when Absalom asked his counselors what the next step should be A hit to fill? Said to pursue David immediately and who shy however, counseled Absalom to delay the attack from And form a larger force and totally Annihilate David and his men, which is found in 2nd Samuel 17. So, Absalom chose to follow the advice of who shot and reject a hit the phils council. And this was of God since Verse 14 says the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of a hippo fell in order to bring disaster on absalom. When Absalom rejected his advice to his novels, pride was injured and he put his house in order and then hanged himself. Mm So a hittable, took that so deeply And personally, I think his mind, his thinking was clouded in this. Um, and we see we wonder how could a healthful get to this place where he was such a traitor to David?

[0:08:41] Lois: Because initially he he was a wise counselor to David. So make that connection for us in this concept of repentance and forgiveness that we’re talking about.

[0:08:58] Emily: So, I’ll make that connection for you in second Samuel 23 34. It says l I am son of a hit to fill the gala night. And then in 11 verse three, which is so heavy. It’s when David is enquiring about bathsheba and someone questions the king and says, uh isn’t this bathsheba daughter of a lion? The wife and wife of Uriah the Hittite? So ahead the felt is bathsheba is grandpa.

[0:09:37] Lois: Whoa,

[0:09:40] Emily: right? I did

[0:09:42] Lois: not. I did not know that. I don’t think I’ve never studied that in that way.

[0:09:49] Emily: Right? Which so motive, we have a hit. The fellas motive.

[0:09:54] Lois: Yeah, yeah. His motive and then he’s angry and and understandably so, and a lack of forgiveness. And and and then David’s sin and his lack of repentance at that time. And just wow. Right.

[0:10:23] Emily: So in this, there’s so many things we can learn from this. We can learn how, how, how our own unforgiveness for a legitimate travesty. A legitimate thing that was done, that our unforgiveness, it doesn’t hurt the other person. Maybe a hit the full should have said something to David. Maybe he tried. Maybe he could have set up boundaries are with David and not Ben, David’s Wiseman, maybe something. But we see that his unforgiveness was likely the root of his decision making and how he chose to counsel Absolutely

[0:11:07] Lois: sure. Because then you’re going back to what we said in our first episode, it doesn’t negate the actions forgiveness. Doesn’t say that the actions didn’t take place, but also, um giving grace to others means that we surrender our right to punish. Uh it’s a lot easier to want to punish, it feels

[0:11:30] Emily: better.

[0:11:34] Lois: Um, but yeah, that that just led to a whole string of, and yet we go back to God’s sovereignty, even though gods plan for us was not for all of us to, you know, for sin to come into the world and all of that, but knowing that we would make the choices that we make, he he’s still sovereign and how he’s trying to work through those things and those things, you mentioned that it fulfilled what God had said was going to happen because of the initial sin.

[0:12:17] Emily: Mhm. Yeah. Right.

[0:12:20] Lois: So what did you take up, What did you take away from that when your brother in law um you know, reminded you of that, what did you take away from that? And and tying it into this topic of forgiveness? I mean, I know you just mentioned the other, but

[0:12:38] Emily: right. Yeah. The biggest thing when I heard him preach this was um forgiveness over someone else being hurt in my life. So it was like I had this misconception that I didn’t have to let go of my bitterness or my anger or my desire to punish another person because they had hurt someone that I love, so they didn’t hurt me. So I don’t have anything to forgive them for. So I was like carrying this around feeling justified in my unforgiveness and it opened my eyes to the scope of um forgiveness. That has to happen in our hearts, and that’s still hard, Like that’s one of those situations in my life, that’s not one and done. Like, when I see those people, like, I still come across some of those people and I like your insides turn a little and you’re like, not sure how to respond, not that you have to be in relationship with them, like you just bump into them in the store or something, like, it’s hard, but as we see a hit, the film carrying bitterness and own forgiveness for something that was done to someone that he loved dearly,

[0:14:01] Lois: wow, that’s huge because we want to see justice done and and if we have any kind of human heart at all towards the people that we love, um it’s easy for us to take on their offense, you know? Mhm So where do you think you are in that process right now?

[0:14:31] Emily: Oof, I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about that specific one in a while. Um yeah, I think it’s still breaks my heart for how it has impacted someone that I love, but um I can I think one of the things that really helps is knowing that it’s okay to wish that justice was done and I don’t think justice ever will be done this side of heaven, I really don’t see that happening, but knowing that that I wanting justice to happen isn’t me being unforgiving frees me from holding that so tightly and being like, I’m not giving it up and then doing what I hit the field did and this is what my pastor says, he says unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

[0:15:37] Lois: Ooh,

[0:15:40] Emily: you see a hit the field at that exact thing and he’s the one who ended up dead.

[0:15:44] Lois: Yeah, yeah, because um unforgiveness does lead to bitterness, does lead to um a warped sense of self and those around us and can just get to a point of, you know, vengeance. And uh and it goes back to that, the verse and I’m not taking out of context, but you know the verse, it says vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord, you know, um and yet, and I’m, and I’m glad that you said it may not take place this side of heaven. And I remember years ago um in a bible study and hearing, well that person just, they just got away with it, they just got away with it, you know, and we have a, we have a I have a really hard time with like how can they just get away with it? And I remember the first time that I heard um there’s there’s still the heaven side of the judgment coming, this person or that person, you know, whatever that is, they’re not just gonna get get away with it. Um

[0:17:10] Emily: and they can be fully forgiven this side of heaven. Honestly, I I believe that I believe that they can be covered in the blood, but I still believe that there are things that like this helps me so much. When you think of like the judgment seat of christ or things christians or even professing christians paying like, are they christians, are they not? Because they don’t act like it? Like I’m not going to judge that, but I know that there will be justice either way, God can fully forgive them and they’re still be some kind of reckoning.

[0:17:46] Lois: Yeah. Well I think you said in our in our first Part, one of this episode that forgiveness doesn’t negate consequences.

[0:18:00] Emily: Right? Exactly. Right. So I would love to maybe jump to some things that God has been doing in your heart because I think it was about a month ago, you we were on a phone call together just catching up and you said God really worked some things in your heart. So

[0:18:23] Lois: yeah, I

[0:18:23] Emily: want to tell us about that.

[0:18:25] Lois: I do and I’m just going to give a little bit of a background, you know, several episodes ago, we did a story where we talked about um God’s faithfulness and I um even through the rough times and I I just kind of gave a timeline of these things that have happened over the past four years, but didn’t really go into a lot of details about each one, but four years ago, like this month bobby and I were simultaneously fired from the church where we had served for. Yeah uh 16 years. We had just celebrated 16 years. Our former pastor that I mentioned in part one. That is the first sermon that I ever heard in a healthy way about what forgiveness isn’t is not um He had taken another church and so we had somebody else come in And not only were we fired. Um well I was fired by proxy because I wasn’t brought to the meeting, bobby was fired. And of course then I was fired um was done in a such a non biblical way underhanded under the table. Um You know the majority of the church had no idea what was going on. We’re talking about a church that was running anywhere between 700,000 and um bobby was forced to resign. He was forced to sign an N. D. A. And a non compete. He had done nothing wrong. It was just and then and then some of the very people in that room told six or 76 or seven different stories or scenarios and probably the one of the most hurtful difficult things that we had ever encountered in our lives like our lives were literally turned upside down. Mhm. And you know you go through all of those emotions. Um it’s almost like going through a death because uh not only where you’ve served where you have been full time vocational ministry um where you’ve raised your kids for the majority where you’ve poured into people’s lives, people have poured into your life where, um you have memories where you all of this, um and you still live in the same town.

[0:21:25] Emily: Yeah, because

[0:21:26] Lois: you’re not going to the next ministry right away, um and so you lose you lose your church family, and you lose your, like, some of your closest friends, uh because they choose to stay at the church, you know, just too many details to share in this, but that’s been four years ago. Mhm. Um and, you know, I’ve gone back and forth on the forgiveness thing, and it’s been very difficult, it’s been very difficult forget to forgive, and I think for, you know, it’s been a process and I’ve wanted to forgive because God commands us to forgive. Um but the hurt was so deep, and if it had just been that maybe I would have been further along in my forgiveness journey, but literally, as several episodes ago, like, a month after month, with maybe skipping a few months, there was just one traumatic situation after another, and so, it was hurt upon hurt upon disappointment upon um fear upon tragedy, upon death, and and somehow in my head, I wrapped it all back around to that initial hurt,

[0:23:00] Emily: you

[0:23:01] Lois: know, and I had, I had friends around me who were super angry because they feel like the things that took place, you know, started with that initial hurt, so, I will say this, and I think I’ve said it before, but you know, we talked about that bow at the end of joseph’s story where he says to his brothers, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. I honestly can say that I am finally at a point where I can say our freedom came through our firing and that um I can see that even though some meant that for evil, even though in their minds they were so deceived that they didn’t think it was for evil or the way that they did it was wrong, but but that God has brought us so far from that situation and we are so much healthier now and and leaning towards health emotionally, mentally and spiritually that I can say that you, you meant that for evil because let’s get down to it, you didn’t mean it for our good, you meant it for evil, but God, God is turning it for good. So all to give the background of that a little over a month ago. Um I was at a women’s conference at our church and the theme was at the well, which was just phenomenal. And you and I have talked about the woman at the well and just how that story just impacts so many lives because the woman at the well could be any of us, any of us are the woman at the well whether it’s male or female, but there was not, none of the speakers, none of the worship was even focused on the theme of forgiveness, but we have been encouraged to go to this place that had been set up in the lobby which had these storyboards and from left all the way to the right was the entire passage out of the gospels about of when jesus encountered the woman at the well and then there was a well in the middle of the room and rocks and you know, just to walk through that and while I was walking through that, I was literally by myself because there was an ending of a session going on and I just began to think about all of the things that that the that the woman at the well was forgiven of in that time and the Lord just he wasn’t audible, but he was just smashing me talking to me about forgiveness and I stood there in it and I broke like I haven’t broken in a really long time about it and I just began to say out loud, Lord, you’ve asked me to forgive and I know that I can’t have freedom and really move on until I step in forgiveness of this. You know when I have forgiven because we were commanded to forgive, but it didn’t change my heart about this situation

[0:26:50] Emily: right.

[0:26:51] Lois: And in that moment, like I’m in this room by myself, the tears are flowing like flowing, like I can’t control them ugly cry flowing and I’m just saying out loud I forgive you. I and I say the name, I forgive you and I say the name, you know um and I can’t say that I’m never gonna struggle again but I can tell you and this is gonna sound cliche and I don’t mean it cliche but in the depth of my heart I physically and emotionally felt release. Every time I said I forgive you and said the person’s name and I even said out loud, Lord I know this doesn’t take away what happened. You know, there’s still accountability. It but for the longest time I had held onto it because I felt like if I forgave them that it would make what they did okay. And I think that that’s another lie that the enemy tells us mm if we forgive someone for something it makes it okay what they did and that is not true and that is not and I’m not saying that I’ve got it all together but I can say that when I hear those names or when I hear that situation or when I drive by the campus where that took place um it’s not it’s not a trigger to me and then since then I was able to share that with with a dear friend who chose to stay Mhm and the grace that they gave me and allowing me to share that with them um you know it was just it was just amazing. I cannot explain to you the release and the relief that that has brought and I still have a ways to go on other things. But I can really honestly say that God has given me victory in that area now. Do I want fellowship with the people that were responsible for that? No, but does that mean I haven’t forgiven them?

[0:29:38] Emily: No. No,

[0:29:41] Lois: but forgiveness doesn’t. Um forgiveness is not immediate trust again or trust ever because if a person doesn’t change, a person doesn’t change and I’m not responsible for their change. Uh I got enough of my own baggage that I need to be working through. I’m not responsible for their change and I can’t control whether or not they change or whether or not they ever apologize or whether or not their eyes are ever open to see that what they did was wrong. And for the longest time I tried to control all of that narrative. Mm So I can say that I’m so thankful. I’m not thankful for their behavior, but I’m so thankful that we’re four years out from that and and man, what God is bringing into our lives. That’s just a that’s a whole nother level. But It was four years Emily. Yes. And it and it doesn’t it doesn’t happen overnight and it’s a process. It’s a process.

[0:31:01] Emily: I am so glad for so much of what you just said. And one of them is that it took you four years and nobody else if you’re like, I’ll stink I’m five years out from whatever your trauma is or your thing that like really changed your life. You don’t that’s not the point. The point is to take the time let God work that fruit out in your heart and in your life.

[0:31:33] Lois: I think that’s the key thing though. We have to be willing to let God work it out and for a while, I was not willing to give it over to him to let him work it out. I was still trying to exact justice, I was still trying to um you know, like are you serious? Like, you know, just just the whole thing, I don’t want to say too much because um that that one story in itself can turn, could turn into its own episode. But I I think what you just said, we we do have to be willing to allow God to work it it out in us. And honestly sometimes it’s easier, it’s not healthier than long run, but honestly, sometimes it’s easier to hang on to it and stay angry

[0:32:42] Emily: when you’re talking about surrender and it makes us feel powerful when we hold onto it. That’s that’s a control thing and I like what you said about when we feel like we’re releasing this and we’re acting like maybe we’re believing the lie because that’s what our enemy likes to do is come in with lies that somehow we’re saying this is okay or somehow it’s easier. It feels like we’re still controlling the narrative around it when we’re not letting go of

[0:33:18] Lois: it.

[0:33:19] Emily: Um it’s that surrender peace to say, okay God, I don’t know how long this is going to take. I don’t know if you’re gonna work something out right now in my heart or if this is going to be a process of healing, but I’m gonna let this go and maybe even not let it go. It’s like a yes, no, yes, no. Kind of a thing like, OK, my palms are open my palms or not. But it’s the willingness to surrender because I think surrender is something else that’s incredibly nuanced. It’s not just this one and done because I’ve heard surrender taught like that like this, God, I’ll do anything for you. And it’s it’s not, it’s

[0:33:56] Lois: right. And then we have to read and then when we mess up, we have to rededicate our lives. God, I’ll give everything to you, right? And when you say let it go, I know your heart. You don’t mean just let it go. You mean surrendering to him. And and sometimes it’s a daily surrender. I mean paul even talked about the fact that I die daily. It’s it may have to be a I mentioned, I mentioned my former pastor in our first Episode in Part one and one of the things he says forgiveness is not necessarily a one and done thing. Sometimes you have to continue to forgive as you begin to peel the layers back of what was done or what happened or whatever. There is another layer to forgive. And another layer to forgive or when the bitterness starts to creep back up, then you forgive again. So it’s not just like, like you said to forgive one and done sometimes it’s a daily surrender in a daily choice to forgive.

[0:35:14] Emily: Yeah, absolutely. Mhm. Well guys, I think we’re gonna land there or episode Uh two or part

[0:35:30] Lois: two, you know? Yeah, and then in our in our next part three, we’re going to finish up talking about the story of joseph, but along with um questions that some of you have asked and some statements and advice that some of you have given regarding forgiveness, but we’ll dig back into the story of joseph and um and talk about talk about that in Part three and maybe we’ll be done at the end of Part three, there’s so much, so much to impact and um I’m just, I’m thankful that we’ve had this opportunity and that the Lord has given both of us an opportunity to have to work through forgiveness. It’s hard to think him for, but I’m but I’m thankful. Yeah,

[0:36:33] Emily: yep. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, my heart’s been ministered to just truth being spoken out is such a powerful, powerful thing that I think sometimes we underestimate the power of the spoken word and just speaking out truth over people. You know, I feel like I feel led to pray right now. So as we close this episode,

[0:37:02] Lois: I think the difference, I think the difference in just the spoken truth is that scripture very clear is very clear in the fact that truth spoken in love. Because we can speak truth and we can speak it without love or without being relational or speak it into um um anyway, a different way. But my prayer is and I know your prayer is that we when we that we always speak the truth in love,

[0:37:40] Emily: right? Yeah, I think I can’t think of it right now, but there’s definitely a bible verse that talks about um oh, the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. Mhm. Um the truth can kill, but the truth can also um with the spirit can bring life. Yeah, heavenly father, thank you for your abundant forgiveness that you have offered to us for things that honestly we haven’t even acknowledged or apologized for in our lives, stuff that you see that we don’t um thank you for being so generous with that, ask that you would allow us people listening to be conduits of that forgiveness and that grace and that love to other people and for someone who’s listening and struggling and saying, I don’t know how to forgive. I don’t know how to go about this situation. This is hard ask that you would wrap them in your peace and your presence and you would remind them that you aren’t going anywhere and that you’re with them in this struggle and that you see them Elroy, you see them in this struggle and that you would give them deliverance and victory over maybe bitterness that is trying to creep in or unforgiveness that just threatens through lies of the enemy. Give people victory and thank you for your justice and that you I will have vengeance and that there will be a reckoning that we have hope hoping you and your never changing character. We thank you for this opportunity again in jesus name. Amen.

[0:39:36] Lois: You know as you prayed that prayer Emily, it reminds me of that beautiful verse. Um Oh man what is good and what the lord desires of the but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

[0:39:57] Emily: Mm I’m scared