February 3, 2019

Several times throughout my career as a pastor I’ve had church members who I thought were my friends do some nasty things. A few times people have tried to have me fired (one of which had been an assistant I hired in order to help him get his credentials … he was hoping to take my place. Later, those who had aligned with him came back to apologize. Once, a fellow neglected his duties & failed to pay certain taxes the church owed, which put me in a position of facing jail time. He then told everyone it was my fault before he left the church. I’ve been threatened with bodily harm several times … none of the aforementioned members still attend our assembly.

They call to apologize, I forgive them but they have either chosen to attend another fellowship or have quit church altogether. It seems to me that true forgiveness implies restoration. When someone extends forgiveness to us, we ought to embrace it & allow it to work its magic of causing the break in relationship to be welded back together stronger than it was before. Forgive others, but also accept forgiveness. Not doing so short-circuits what God is trying to do in us.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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