Forgive and Live | TBN

Forgive and Live

Watch Forgive and Live
September 15, 2019
27:31

Live with Passion with Father Cedric

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Forgive and Live

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  • Hi, I'm Father Cedric Pisegna,
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  • the host of, "Live with Passion."
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  • if you've been hurt and you need to forgive somebody,
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  • I'm gonna help you to forgive and live.
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  • (upbeat music)
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  • Hi, I'm Father Cedric Pisegna,
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  • the host of, "Live with Passion."
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  • I'm so glad that you've tuned into the program today.
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  • I wanna talk to you about forgiveness.
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  • Not only receiving the forgiveness
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  • that God offers you, but forgiving other people
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  • and also forgiving yourself.
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  • It can be so hard to do, but what it does
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  • is it sets you free to live with passion.
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  • I call this, Forgive & Live.
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  • You don't have to be bitter.
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  • You don't have to be resentful.
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  • You can really be free.
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  • You can break the chains and live with freedom.
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  • So I wanted to share with you Matthew, Chapter 18.
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  • "Peter came to Jesus and said, Lord,
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  • "if somebody sins against me,
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  • "how often should I forgive him?
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  • "As many as seven times?
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  • "And Jesus said, not seven times, Peter,
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  • "but I tell you, seventy times seven times."
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  • The Gospel of the Lord.
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  • Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
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  • seventy times seven times?
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  • Wow.
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  • What that tells me is that it's an over
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  • and over and over again process.
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  • If you're married, you know that.
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  • If you have a family, you know that,
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  • that you don't just forgive one time,
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  • you have to forgive over and over and over again.
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  • Sometimes you have to forgive dramatic things
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  • in your life that happen.
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  • I remember the cover of "Time" magazine years ago
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  • showed Pope John Paul, II, now in the Catholic Church,
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  • Saint John Paul, II.
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  • It showed him bending over in front of a Turkish assassin
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  • in prison, bending over and forgiving this man,
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  • listening to this man's confession.
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  • What happened was, John Paul, II was shot
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  • at one of his audiences.
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  • You know, there were thousands of people there.
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  • And he was shot by this Turkish assassin.
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  • And in "Time," he forgave him, went to the prison cell,
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  • and heard his confession.
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  • What a moving moment that was for the whole Catholic Church,
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  • for the whole world, for secular society,
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  • to see a pope forgiving the man that actually shot him.
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  • And it showed me that if he can forgive somebody
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  • that tried to kill him, then I can forgive the petty stuff
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  • in my life.
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  • You see, forgiveness is the most powerful word
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  • in the English language.
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  • That's what Allen Hunt said.
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  • He wrote a book called,
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  • "Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody."
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  • Allen Hunt, "Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody."
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  • And he said, "Forgiveness is the most powerful word
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  • "in the English language."
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  • Wow.
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  • That's so true.
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  • Those of you who've been hurt, you know that that's true.
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  • And you know how hard it is to forgive.
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  • Remember how Jesus died, in His Passion?
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  • The Gospel of Luke?
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  • Here He is, on the cross, last moments of His life.
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  • And He looks at the ones who've just crucified Him,
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  • and He said, "Father, forgive them
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  • "for they don't know what they're doing."
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  • Wow.
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  • This is who Jesus was, a man who radiated forgiveness,
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  • a man who loved others, a man who was not bitter
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  • and resentful.
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  • And because Jesus forgave His captors,
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  • because He was so full of forgiveness,
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  • we have salvation at the cross.
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  • We have forgiveness at the cross.
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  • His forgiveness of others is our forgiveness for our sins.
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  • You've probably all heard this saying,
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  • that we owed a debt that we could not pay,
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  • and Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe.
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  • And that's what salvation is.
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  • Our forgiveness of our sins and everybody,
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  • Scripture tells us that everyone on the face
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  • of the Earth has sinned, and we all need that forgiveness.
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  • So first of all, I'm hoping
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  • that you will receive the forgiveness
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  • that Jesus offers at the cross, and it's for everybody.
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  • You just simply believe that He died
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  • for you personally, and you can be forgiven.
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  • And we all need that, because as the Scripture says,
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  • nobody's perfect.
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  • None is righteous.
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  • This comes right from the letter to the Romans.
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  • We all need the wonderful, merciful grace
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  • that is God's forgiveness.
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  • So let's talk some more about forgiving,
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  • and I wanted to tell you that in the confessional,
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  • and I'm in the confessional quite often
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  • as a Catholic priest, I hear all kinds of stories.
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  • People come to me with their most vulnerable secrets
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  • and they share the depths of their heart with me.
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  • And one of probably the most often confessed sin is anger,
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  • but along with that, I hear about this whole thing
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  • about people that have been hurt.
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  • The have bitterness and resentment.
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  • They wanna forgive, but they don't know how to do it.
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  • It just seems so hard and they lay awake at night thinking.
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  • That's why I say, forgive and live,
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  • because when you forgive, that's when you start to live.
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  • You don't hold onto the bitterness,
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  • you don't hold onto the resentment.
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  • So my point is, is that many people are dealing
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  • with people that they need to forgive.
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  • In fact, I think, as the book said, Allen Hunt's book,
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  • everybody needs to forgive somebody,
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  • because we've all been hurt.
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  • There's been abuse, there's been gossip about us,
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  • there's been hurt in many different types of ways.
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  • And statistics show us that,
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  • and I find this kind of intriguing,
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  • varying statistics will tell us
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  • that about a quarter of the people you meet
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  • and have relationships with, about a quarter
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  • of the people, 25% of the people, for whatever reason,
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  • maybe they don't like your hair or your personality
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  • or the way you look or whatever it is,
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  • for some reason, they're not gonna like you.
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  • And they're probably not gonna like your ideas
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  • and your opinions, either.
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  • And I've come to terms with that.
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  • You know, as a preacher, that, you know,
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  • there's a lot of people that I attract,
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  • I'm a fisher of men and women,
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  • but there's just a certain amount of people
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  • that just don't like what I have to say
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  • or just don't like my personality or like the way.
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  • And we all have to come to grips with that,
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  • no matter who you are.
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  • Whether you're a pope, the president, a preacher,
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  • a priest, whoever you are,
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  • there's just gonna be some people that don't like you.
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  • Even Jesus, of course, the most perfect human being
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  • who ever lived, very loving, very kind,
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  • very forgiving person, and He had people who hated Him.
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  • Now, it's interesting.
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  • One of the Scriptures says, "They hated me without cause."
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  • So people will dislike you even though they don't
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  • have a reason.
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  • And you gotta deal with that.
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  • I saw a quote, said, "Don't worry about the people
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  • "that aren't happy for you.
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  • "They probably aren't happy for themselves, either."
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  • Isn't that so true?
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  • So we gotta come to grips with this,
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  • that some people aren't gonna accept us,
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  • they're not gonna like us for whatever reason,
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  • and we gotta deal with it.
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  • And we can't allow their agenda,
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  • their pain, their abuse, whatever it is, to overwhelm us.
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  • We have to be able to shake it off,
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  • be like a duck, water off a duck's back,
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  • like Teflon, you can't let it stick to you.
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  • Otherwise, you're gonna end up bitter and resentful,
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  • lying awake at night.
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  • And that's stealing your joy, stealing your life.
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  • And I want you to be able to forgive and live,
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  • and I'm gonna help you to do that.
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  • Powerful book that I read, I already quoted it to you,
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  • Allen Hunt's book, "Everybody's Got to Forgive Somebody."
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  • And it's so true.
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  • In life, everybody's got people, you know,
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  • employees, or it could be coworkers or family members
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  • or in-laws or people like that, that everybody's got people
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  • that they need to forgive.
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  • We've all been hurt.
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  • So anyway, in this book by Allen Hunt,
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  • "Everybody's Got Somebody That They Need to Forgive,"
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  • he tells about 12 stories that people had
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  • where they were hurt
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  • and 12 extraordinary stories of forgiveness.
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  • And I just wanna share with you one, the first story.
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  • It's about a man and his wife, they were married.
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  • Her name was Millie.
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  • They were married for 10 years, had three children.
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  • And after the 10 years, you know, wanderlust set in,
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  • and she didn't feel appreciated.
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  • You know how all that goes.
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  • And she wandered, she strayed, she committed adultery.
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  • And he knew about it.
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  • In fact, she left him for a whole year.
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  • Left the children and her husband,
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  • lived with her lover for a whole year.
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  • It was a devastating situation for the husband
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  • and for the family.
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  • So, you know, adultery is happening every day
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  • all around the world.
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  • So anyway, one morning, she wakes up
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  • and she decides that it's time to go back.
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  • What have I done?
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  • I gotta go back to my husband.
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  • But will he accept me?
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  • So she goes to the door to her own house,
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  • knocks on the door, husband opens the door.
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  • She bows her head, sheepishly says,
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  • will you take me back?
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  • And he says, yes.
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  • He lifted up her chin and said, yes.
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  • Can you imagine?
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  • What does it take in a person to be able
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  • to forgive being betrayed?
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  • In the confessional, I hear from married people,
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  • they'll come to me, one of the spouses will come,
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  • sometimes as a married couple they'll come to me,
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  • and they will share how their spouse has committed adultery
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  • and how they're taking them back.
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  • And I think to myself, what a beautiful person this must be
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  • to be able to be willing to trust again,
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  • even though their trust has been betrayed and ruptured.
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  • What grace in that person to be willing to forgive.
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  • And so this is what's happening here.
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  • The man decided to forgive her and took her back.
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  • But wait, there's more.
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  • What happened was, once she came back,
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  • about a week later, she discovers she's pregnant
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  • and it wasn't from her husband.
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  • It was from her lover.
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  • And she had to tell her husband
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  • that, thank you for taking me back, but I'm pregnant.
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  • And it was because of him.
  • 00:10:49.210 --> 00:10:52.090
  • And so once the husband found out about it,
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  • he did something beautiful once again.
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  • He said this.
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  • He said, we'll make something wonderful come from this,
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  • and we will raise the children together.
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  • Wow.
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  • Wow, wow, raise the child together.
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  • What beauty in that person's heart.
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  • You see, I think that's what God
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  • is trying to do in us.
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  • He's trying to fashion us, to mold us
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  • into the image of Jesus, to have virtue,
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  • to have integrity, to have beautiful character.
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  • And one of the virtues that most people don't talk about
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  • is forgiveness.
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  • We need, of course, courage, we need justice,
  • 00:11:29.020 --> 00:11:33.000
  • we need mercy, we need love, we need honesty and kindness.
  • 00:11:33.000 --> 00:11:37.240
  • But forgiveness, if you can forgive, you are Christ-like.
  • 00:11:37.240 --> 00:11:42.240
  • So here's this man, not only forgiving his wife
  • 00:11:44.000 --> 00:11:47.140
  • for committing adultery, but also saying,
  • 00:11:47.140 --> 00:11:49.190
  • we are gonna raise this child together.
  • 00:11:49.190 --> 00:11:51.230
  • Something good is gonna.
  • 00:11:51.230 --> 00:11:53.080
  • People came up to him and said, how could you do that?
  • 00:11:53.080 --> 00:11:55.110
  • How could you not only forgive your wife,
  • 00:11:55.110 --> 00:11:57.190
  • but then say that you're gonna raise the child
  • 00:11:57.190 --> 00:12:00.220
  • that she had with somebody else?
  • 00:12:00.220 --> 00:12:03.210
  • And this is what he said.
  • 00:12:03.210 --> 00:12:05.000
  • He said, how could I not forgive the one
  • 00:12:05.000 --> 00:12:07.100
  • who God gave me as my wife?
  • 00:12:07.100 --> 00:12:09.180
  • And with all that Christ did for me on the cross,
  • 00:12:09.180 --> 00:12:14.020
  • how could I not forgive her?
  • 00:12:14.020 --> 00:12:15.250
  • Right after that reading that I just gave
  • 00:12:17.120 --> 00:12:19.010
  • to you about Peter, when Peter says, Lord, how many,
  • 00:12:19.010 --> 00:12:23.130
  • he thought he was doing good, Lord, how many times
  • 00:12:23.130 --> 00:12:26.000
  • should I forgive somebody who hurt me?
  • 00:12:26.000 --> 00:12:28.100
  • Seven?
  • 00:12:28.100 --> 00:12:29.280
  • You know, he thought he was going overboard, there.
  • 00:12:29.280 --> 00:12:32.180
  • And Jesus said, no, not seven, but seventy times seven.
  • 00:12:32.180 --> 00:12:36.140
  • And, you know, that tells me that it's an over
  • 00:12:36.140 --> 00:12:39.140
  • and over and over again choice,
  • 00:12:39.140 --> 00:12:42.150
  • that you gotta keep at it, keep doing it,
  • 00:12:42.150 --> 00:12:44.270
  • not just seven times, but endlessly.
  • 00:12:44.270 --> 00:12:47.250
  • Not 490 times, endlessly.
  • 00:12:47.250 --> 00:12:50.060
  • But right after this, Jesus tells a parable.
  • 00:12:50.060 --> 00:12:53.000
  • And it's a long one, and I didn't wanna,
  • 00:12:53.000 --> 00:12:54.260
  • you know, distract you with the length of the parable,
  • 00:12:54.260 --> 00:12:57.140
  • but basically, the parable was this.
  • 00:12:57.140 --> 00:12:59.210
  • A man who owed millions of dollars was forgiven,
  • 00:12:59.210 --> 00:13:04.230
  • and then after he was forgiven,
  • 00:13:05.200 --> 00:13:07.050
  • he went and he had somebody in his life
  • 00:13:07.050 --> 00:13:10.220
  • that only owed him $1000, and he throttled the person
  • 00:13:10.220 --> 00:13:15.080
  • and wouldn't forgive him.
  • 00:13:15.080 --> 00:13:17.040
  • The man who forgave him the large debt found out
  • 00:13:17.040 --> 00:13:19.240
  • about it, and he said, how could you,
  • 00:13:19.240 --> 00:13:22.020
  • who are forgiven millions of dollars,
  • 00:13:22.020 --> 00:13:24.150
  • then have somebody that only owes you a little bit,
  • 00:13:24.150 --> 00:13:27.030
  • how could you not forgive after I forgave you everything?
  • 00:13:27.030 --> 00:13:29.290
  • And that's God speaking to us.
  • 00:13:29.290 --> 00:13:32.130
  • How could you, after being forgiven all of your sins
  • 00:13:32.130 --> 00:13:35.230
  • at the cross, and then you have somebody
  • 00:13:35.230 --> 00:13:37.220
  • that's hurt you in whatever way
  • 00:13:37.220 --> 00:13:39.040
  • that doesn't amount to anything compared
  • 00:13:39.040 --> 00:13:40.240
  • to what I've forgiven you,
  • 00:13:40.240 --> 00:13:42.020
  • how could you then not forgive them?
  • 00:13:42.020 --> 00:13:43.170
  • And then he casts him out because he wouldn't forgive.
  • 00:13:43.170 --> 00:13:47.160
  • We have that "Our Father" that is so troubling. (laughs)
  • 00:13:47.160 --> 00:13:52.160
  • You know, and often times, we just kind of ramble it
  • 00:13:54.000 --> 00:13:56.040
  • and kinda just say it without even thinking about
  • 00:13:56.040 --> 00:13:59.010
  • what we're saying, but what we say is this.
  • 00:13:59.010 --> 00:14:00.150
  • "Father, forgive us our trespasses."
  • 00:14:00.150 --> 00:14:02.230
  • Here's a big word, "as we forgive those
  • 00:14:02.230 --> 00:14:06.010
  • "who trespass against us."
  • 00:14:06.010 --> 00:14:07.220
  • (light tones)
  • 00:14:12.080 --> 00:14:15.100
  • I remember one of my community members
  • 00:14:15.100 --> 00:14:17.240
  • attacked my reputation, and totally unfounded, falsely,
  • 00:14:17.240 --> 00:14:22.240
  • it was just he thought that.
  • 00:14:23.240 --> 00:14:26.010
  • And I work hard at having a good reputation
  • 00:14:26.010 --> 00:14:28.250
  • and having integrity.
  • 00:14:28.250 --> 00:14:29.270
  • That's one of my fortes.
  • 00:14:29.270 --> 00:14:32.010
  • And so, it really hurt and it was hard.
  • 00:14:32.010 --> 00:14:34.150
  • I didn't wanna retaliate, I just wanted to be bitter.
  • 00:14:34.150 --> 00:14:39.060
  • I didn't wanna hurt him, I just didn't want anything
  • 00:14:40.200 --> 00:14:42.220
  • to do with him.
  • 00:14:42.220 --> 00:14:43.290
  • Just stay away from me, stay out of my life.
  • 00:14:43.290 --> 00:14:46.280
  • But then of course, you know,
  • 00:14:46.280 --> 00:14:48.050
  • I've gotta pray the "Our Father" at mass,
  • 00:14:48.050 --> 00:14:50.100
  • and I've gotta teach people about the "Our Father"
  • 00:14:50.100 --> 00:14:52.130
  • and I don't wanna be a hypocrite.
  • 00:14:52.130 --> 00:14:54.280
  • And I know it's the right thing to do,
  • 00:14:54.280 --> 00:14:56.290
  • and we all have a call to be Christ-like.
  • 00:14:56.290 --> 00:15:00.060
  • And I believe that you can get closer to God
  • 00:15:00.060 --> 00:15:02.210
  • if you do it God's way.
  • 00:15:02.210 --> 00:15:04.070
  • And the other thing is, I don't wanna be lying
  • 00:15:05.120 --> 00:15:06.260
  • in bed at night thinking about that man who hurt me.
  • 00:15:06.260 --> 00:15:10.080
  • That's called resentment, that's called bitterness.
  • 00:15:10.080 --> 00:15:12.170
  • And the Bible talks about the gall of bitterness.
  • 00:15:12.170 --> 00:15:15.190
  • Well, I don't wanna have that gall on me.
  • 00:15:15.190 --> 00:15:17.240
  • And you know, he had the gall to say that to me,
  • 00:15:17.240 --> 00:15:20.190
  • but I don't wanna take that gall and have it toward him.
  • 00:15:20.190 --> 00:15:23.280
  • So anyway, I made the decision, and that's what it is
  • 00:15:23.280 --> 00:15:27.260
  • it's a decision.
  • 00:15:27.260 --> 00:15:28.220
  • You don't feel like it.
  • 00:15:28.220 --> 00:15:30.070
  • People always think, you know, forgiveness,
  • 00:15:31.120 --> 00:15:32.250
  • you gotta feel like forgiving.
  • 00:15:32.250 --> 00:15:34.070
  • Well, no you don't.
  • 00:15:34.070 --> 00:15:36.060
  • Most of the times you don't feel like forgiving,
  • 00:15:36.060 --> 00:15:38.100
  • especially in the beginning.
  • 00:15:38.100 --> 00:15:39.240
  • You don't feel like it at all, because you've been hurt.
  • 00:15:39.240 --> 00:15:42.190
  • But I made the decision, and it's not something I wanted
  • 00:15:42.190 --> 00:15:45.290
  • to do, it's something that I knew that I had to do
  • 00:15:45.290 --> 00:15:48.040
  • because I've been forgiven and I don't wanna be a hypocrite.
  • 00:15:48.040 --> 00:15:51.180
  • I made the decision to forgive him.
  • 00:15:51.180 --> 00:15:53.080
  • And I found out that it's not just a one-time thing.
  • 00:15:53.080 --> 00:15:55.240
  • It's 70 times seven.
  • 00:15:55.240 --> 00:15:58.120
  • Over and over and over again.
  • 00:15:58.120 --> 00:16:00.210
  • Because every time you see the man, you know,
  • 00:16:00.210 --> 00:16:02.130
  • you don't wanna just be harsh toward him.
  • 00:16:02.130 --> 00:16:04.020
  • I wanna be just like I am toward everybody.
  • 00:16:04.020 --> 00:16:07.110
  • I don't wanna be mean and bitter.
  • 00:16:07.110 --> 00:16:09.150
  • I don't wanna be passive aggressive.
  • 00:16:09.150 --> 00:16:12.050
  • I don't wanna be angry.
  • 00:16:12.050 --> 00:16:13.280
  • I wanna be just who I am.
  • 00:16:13.280 --> 00:16:16.030
  • And I don't wanna go to bed thinking about him
  • 00:16:16.030 --> 00:16:18.210
  • or lying in bed all upset.
  • 00:16:18.210 --> 00:16:20.280
  • So I made the decision to forgive, but here's how I did it.
  • 00:16:20.280 --> 00:16:23.190
  • I found out that couldn't do it on my own.
  • 00:16:23.190 --> 00:16:26.190
  • I was powerless to forgive that man,
  • 00:16:26.190 --> 00:16:29.020
  • because I was really hurt.
  • 00:16:29.020 --> 00:16:30.170
  • And I've been hurt by other people in my life, too,
  • 00:16:30.170 --> 00:16:32.160
  • and this is how I've done it.
  • 00:16:32.160 --> 00:16:34.090
  • I simply surrender to God and say,
  • 00:16:34.090 --> 00:16:36.020
  • God, I'm powerless over this situation,
  • 00:16:36.020 --> 00:16:39.000
  • but all things are possible for You.
  • 00:16:39.000 --> 00:16:41.150
  • And I speak about possibility thinking.
  • 00:16:41.150 --> 00:16:44.200
  • You'll hear about that in some of my other episodes.
  • 00:16:44.200 --> 00:16:47.090
  • And possibility thinking means that all things
  • 00:16:47.090 --> 00:16:49.160
  • are possible for God.
  • 00:16:49.160 --> 00:16:51.060
  • You can pursue dreams and achieve dreams,
  • 00:16:51.060 --> 00:16:55.080
  • dreams that you didn't think were possible,
  • 00:16:55.080 --> 00:16:58.040
  • mountains will move, and events will happen,
  • 00:16:58.040 --> 00:17:02.150
  • opportunities, doors will open, all because all things
  • 00:17:02.150 --> 00:17:05.210
  • are possible for God.
  • 00:17:05.210 --> 00:17:07.090
  • Well, in the same way, because all things are possible
  • 00:17:07.090 --> 00:17:10.050
  • for God, you can forgive the people that hurt you
  • 00:17:10.050 --> 00:17:13.210
  • through God's grace.
  • 00:17:13.210 --> 00:17:16.050
  • So what you do is you make a surrender to God
  • 00:17:16.050 --> 00:17:17.270
  • and say, God, I don't feel like it,
  • 00:17:17.270 --> 00:17:19.090
  • I don't even like that person,
  • 00:17:19.090 --> 00:17:20.280
  • but I'm believing that You're gonna give me the grace
  • 00:17:20.280 --> 00:17:23.250
  • to forgive them.
  • 00:17:23.250 --> 00:17:24.240
  • And as you surrender, God will help you.
  • 00:17:26.040 --> 00:17:29.200
  • If you really wanna forgive, God will help you to do it.
  • 00:17:31.040 --> 00:17:34.160
  • And what it does is, as I said, forgive and live,
  • 00:17:35.290 --> 00:17:39.100
  • what it is does is, it helps you to live.
  • 00:17:39.100 --> 00:17:41.290
  • So you're not bitter, you're not upset,
  • 00:17:43.030 --> 00:17:47.010
  • you don't have to worry about
  • 00:17:47.010 --> 00:17:48.000
  • that other person all the time.
  • 00:17:48.000 --> 00:17:49.160
  • I know that there's some people in your life
  • 00:17:50.260 --> 00:17:52.200
  • that you've been hurt by, and I'm not saying
  • 00:17:52.200 --> 00:17:55.010
  • that they were right, I'm saying that God's right.
  • 00:17:55.010 --> 00:17:58.250
  • And God has simply asked you to forgive.
  • 00:17:58.250 --> 00:18:02.010
  • He will help you, and you can do it.
  • 00:18:02.010 --> 00:18:05.030
  • So why don't you set yourself free today
  • 00:18:05.030 --> 00:18:07.030
  • and make a new decision to forgive that person?
  • 00:18:07.030 --> 00:18:10.110
  • And I know some of you have been hurt very badly,
  • 00:18:10.110 --> 00:18:12.160
  • like this woman who committed adultery
  • 00:18:12.160 --> 00:18:15.130
  • and devastated her husband.
  • 00:18:15.130 --> 00:18:17.020
  • Possibly you've been sexually abused
  • 00:18:18.060 --> 00:18:19.280
  • or physically abused, and it wasn't right.
  • 00:18:19.280 --> 00:18:22.070
  • With forgiveness, we're not saying who's right
  • 00:18:23.120 --> 00:18:25.170
  • or wrong, we're just saying that God's right
  • 00:18:25.170 --> 00:18:27.230
  • and that with God's forgiveness, with His power,
  • 00:18:29.030 --> 00:18:30.290
  • you can do it.
  • 00:18:30.290 --> 00:18:31.280
  • So make that decision,
  • 00:18:32.260 --> 00:18:34.220
  • even though your emotions aren't there.
  • 00:18:34.220 --> 00:18:36.210
  • But I'll tell you, your emotions eventually will catch up.
  • 00:18:36.210 --> 00:18:39.200
  • I don't know if you've ever heard the story
  • 00:18:39.200 --> 00:18:40.290
  • in the New Testament about Saint Stephen.
  • 00:18:40.290 --> 00:18:43.020
  • I call him a saint because in the Catholic Church,
  • 00:18:43.020 --> 00:18:45.100
  • he's been canonized.
  • 00:18:45.100 --> 00:18:46.260
  • Stephen was a deacon,
  • 00:18:46.260 --> 00:18:48.240
  • and he was a deacon in the early Church.
  • 00:18:48.240 --> 00:18:50.170
  • A deacon who proclaimed the Word of God.
  • 00:18:50.170 --> 00:18:53.210
  • And because he was so bold and he spoke out
  • 00:18:53.210 --> 00:18:55.280
  • about Jesus Christ, the religious leaders
  • 00:18:55.280 --> 00:18:58.190
  • of the day, the Jewish leaders, did not like that
  • 00:18:58.190 --> 00:19:01.270
  • and there was a big separation between the sect,
  • 00:19:01.270 --> 00:19:04.270
  • of The Way, it was called early on in Christianity.
  • 00:19:04.270 --> 00:19:08.270
  • The believers were called The Way.
  • 00:19:08.270 --> 00:19:11.060
  • So they didn't like this sect, and Stephen
  • 00:19:11.060 --> 00:19:13.130
  • was one of the leaders in it.
  • 00:19:13.130 --> 00:19:15.030
  • And they actually put him to death.
  • 00:19:15.030 --> 00:19:17.170
  • Stephen was the first martyr in the Christian Church.
  • 00:19:17.170 --> 00:19:22.170
  • The deacon Stephen.
  • 00:19:23.090 --> 00:19:24.150
  • It comes from the Acts of the Apostles.
  • 00:19:24.150 --> 00:19:25.290
  • So as Stephen was being stoned,
  • 00:19:25.290 --> 00:19:28.220
  • as he was being murdered for just proclaiming Jesus,
  • 00:19:30.040 --> 00:19:34.240
  • trying to bring people to salvation,
  • 00:19:35.280 --> 00:19:37.260
  • doing something right, as he was being killed,
  • 00:19:37.260 --> 00:19:41.160
  • he died with forgiveness on his lips.
  • 00:19:41.160 --> 00:19:45.090
  • This comes from the Acts of the Apostles.
  • 00:19:45.090 --> 00:19:47.210
  • We believe that Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles
  • 00:19:47.210 --> 00:19:50.130
  • and the Gospel, Saint Luke.
  • 00:19:50.130 --> 00:19:53.070
  • And so, in other words, Stephen died the same way
  • 00:19:53.070 --> 00:19:57.070
  • his Master died, by forgiving those who murdered him.
  • 00:19:57.070 --> 00:20:01.170
  • And he said, don't hold this sin against him.
  • 00:20:01.170 --> 00:20:03.240
  • Standing there in the crowd, who was agreeing
  • 00:20:03.240 --> 00:20:07.020
  • to the stoning, holding the cloaks
  • 00:20:07.020 --> 00:20:09.040
  • of those who were throwing the stones,
  • 00:20:09.040 --> 00:20:11.130
  • was a man named Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee, a Jew,
  • 00:20:11.130 --> 00:20:16.130
  • a very religious man who was out
  • 00:20:17.170 --> 00:20:19.270
  • to persecute the Christian Church,
  • 00:20:19.270 --> 00:20:22.080
  • out to devastate The Way because it was different
  • 00:20:22.080 --> 00:20:25.260
  • from Judaism.
  • 00:20:25.260 --> 00:20:27.090
  • And so, as he as sitting there, standing there
  • 00:20:27.090 --> 00:20:29.190
  • with the cloak, here's Stephen praying
  • 00:20:29.190 --> 00:20:32.260
  • that God would forgive those who were murdering him.
  • 00:20:32.260 --> 00:20:35.250
  • And look what happened.
  • 00:20:35.250 --> 00:20:37.030
  • As you know, Saul was on the way to Damascus
  • 00:20:39.020 --> 00:20:42.250
  • to get even more, a letter about persecuting the Christians.
  • 00:20:42.250 --> 00:20:47.220
  • And as he's on the way, Jesus appears to him
  • 00:20:47.220 --> 00:20:49.270
  • and said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
  • 00:20:49.270 --> 00:20:53.190
  • And then he had this great conversion.
  • 00:20:53.190 --> 00:20:56.080
  • Saul became Paul, the great Apostle.
  • 00:20:56.080 --> 00:20:59.010
  • Paul himself would be persecuted.
  • 00:20:59.010 --> 00:21:01.080
  • He'd have all kinds of people that he needed to forgive.
  • 00:21:01.080 --> 00:21:04.140
  • And of course, that incident he remembered, too.
  • 00:21:04.140 --> 00:21:07.010
  • And then, can you imagine, I believe the reason
  • 00:21:07.010 --> 00:21:10.240
  • why Saul became Paul was because Stephen prayed for him,
  • 00:21:10.240 --> 00:21:15.230
  • and it was because of that prayer for forgiveness
  • 00:21:17.270 --> 00:21:20.220
  • that Saul was converted.
  • 00:21:20.220 --> 00:21:23.060
  • And I believe that as you pray for people
  • 00:21:23.060 --> 00:21:25.050
  • that have hurt you, they can be touched by God.
  • 00:21:25.050 --> 00:21:28.040
  • I remember one time, I was in a counseling situation.
  • 00:21:28.040 --> 00:21:31.280
  • A woman comes in and she was telling me
  • 00:21:31.280 --> 00:21:35.010
  • about her daughter, who had been physically abused
  • 00:21:35.010 --> 00:21:38.100
  • by her son-in-law.
  • 00:21:38.100 --> 00:21:39.230
  • And so, here's the mother-in-law, sitting,
  • 00:21:39.230 --> 00:21:41.250
  • telling me about her daughter and the son-in-law
  • 00:21:41.250 --> 00:21:43.280
  • who abused her physically, and she said,
  • 00:21:43.280 --> 00:21:46.150
  • "I just can't forgive him."
  • 00:21:46.150 --> 00:21:48.130
  • And then she told me more about the situation,
  • 00:21:48.130 --> 00:21:50.100
  • how her daughter had been hurt, and then she said,
  • 00:21:50.100 --> 00:21:51.230
  • "I just can't forgive him," then told me even more
  • 00:21:51.230 --> 00:21:53.250
  • about the situation.
  • 00:21:53.250 --> 00:21:55.100
  • Then the third time she said, "I can't forgive this man,"
  • 00:21:55.100 --> 00:21:58.070
  • and I looked at her and said, "Okay, hold on just a minute.
  • 00:21:58.070 --> 00:22:00.030
  • "You've said three times that you just can't forgive him.
  • 00:22:00.030 --> 00:22:04.070
  • "Do you wanna forgive him?"
  • 00:22:04.070 --> 00:22:05.150
  • And she said, "I think I do, but I just can't."
  • 00:22:05.150 --> 00:22:08.180
  • I said, "Okay, here's what I'd like for you to do.
  • 00:22:08.180 --> 00:22:10.020
  • "I want you to change your confession,
  • 00:22:10.020 --> 00:22:11.290
  • "the words out of your mouth, and I want you
  • 00:22:11.290 --> 00:22:14.090
  • "to simply say, I can forgive him.
  • 00:22:14.090 --> 00:22:17.120
  • "Would you try that?"
  • 00:22:17.120 --> 00:22:18.240
  • And she was slouched down.
  • 00:22:18.240 --> 00:22:20.230
  • And she said, "Okay, I can forgive him."
  • 00:22:20.230 --> 00:22:23.030
  • You could tell it was a struggle.
  • 00:22:23.030 --> 00:22:24.220
  • And I said, "Okay, good, I want you to say it again."
  • 00:22:24.220 --> 00:22:28.180
  • She said, "I can forgive him."
  • 00:22:28.180 --> 00:22:31.050
  • And she started to straighten up.
  • 00:22:31.050 --> 00:22:32.160
  • I said, "Please, say it again."
  • 00:22:32.160 --> 00:22:34.150
  • She said, "I can forgive him."
  • 00:22:34.150 --> 00:22:35.230
  • And I said, "Yes.
  • 00:22:35.230 --> 00:22:37.120
  • "You want to, God's gonna help you,
  • 00:22:37.120 --> 00:22:40.090
  • "keep making the decision over and over again
  • 00:22:40.090 --> 00:22:42.290
  • "and don't say anything negative out of your mouth
  • 00:22:42.290 --> 00:22:46.060
  • "about that situation.
  • 00:22:46.060 --> 00:22:48.070
  • "Repeat after me, yes, I can forgive him."
  • 00:22:48.070 --> 00:22:52.150
  • And she did that with me, and I told her
  • 00:22:52.150 --> 00:22:54.180
  • to do it when she left, and I believe
  • 00:22:54.180 --> 00:22:56.070
  • that she's on the way to forgiving her son-in-law.
  • 00:22:56.070 --> 00:22:58.160
  • Was her son-in-law right for abusing her daughter?
  • 00:22:58.160 --> 00:23:00.220
  • No, but is God right asking us to forgive?
  • 00:23:00.220 --> 00:23:03.240
  • Yes.
  • 00:23:03.240 --> 00:23:04.220
  • That woman was in torment.
  • 00:23:04.220 --> 00:23:06.090
  • But I told her, forgive and live,
  • 00:23:06.090 --> 00:23:07.290
  • and it's the same with you.
  • 00:23:07.290 --> 00:23:09.140
  • Maybe you've had somebody that's physically abused you,
  • 00:23:09.140 --> 00:23:11.060
  • sexually abused you, a divorce.
  • 00:23:11.060 --> 00:23:13.120
  • Maybe you've had an adulterous situation.
  • 00:23:13.120 --> 00:23:16.080
  • Whatever it's been, a coworker's talking about you.
  • 00:23:16.080 --> 00:23:19.010
  • Forgive and live.
  • 00:23:19.010 --> 00:23:20.160
  • I know it hurts, I know it's hard, you can do it.
  • 00:23:20.160 --> 00:23:23.110
  • Why do you need to do it?
  • 00:23:23.110 --> 00:23:24.190
  • It's the only demand that God has asked us
  • 00:23:25.240 --> 00:23:28.240
  • for our salvation.
  • 00:23:28.240 --> 00:23:29.280
  • We have been forgiven at the cross.
  • 00:23:29.280 --> 00:23:32.100
  • "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those
  • 00:23:32.100 --> 00:23:35.100
  • "who sin against us."
  • 00:23:35.100 --> 00:23:36.260
  • I want you to be a passionate person,
  • 00:23:38.020 --> 00:23:39.280
  • a person who lives with passion,
  • 00:23:39.280 --> 00:23:41.250
  • a person fully alive, and in order to do that,
  • 00:23:41.250 --> 00:23:44.260
  • you must forgive.
  • 00:23:44.260 --> 00:23:46.040
  • Forgiveness is the most powerful word
  • 00:23:46.040 --> 00:23:48.160
  • in the English language.
  • 00:23:48.160 --> 00:23:50.200
  • Forgive and live.
  • 00:23:50.200 --> 00:23:52.050
  • You can do it.
  • 00:23:52.050 --> 00:23:53.210
  • I'm praying for you, and don't just live, live with passion.
  • 00:23:53.210 --> 00:23:56.210
  • If you have somebody that you need to forgive,
  • 00:24:02.140 --> 00:24:04.260
  • I'm inviting you right now, simply just pray for them.
  • 00:24:04.260 --> 00:24:08.030
  • God will help you, let it go,
  • 00:24:08.030 --> 00:24:11.130
  • no more bitterness or resentment.
  • 00:24:11.130 --> 00:24:13.190
  • Wanted to share with you a letter
  • 00:24:13.190 --> 00:24:15.040
  • that I got from a woman in Pennsylvania, 93 years old.
  • 00:24:15.040 --> 00:24:18.060
  • And she said, "Not since Bishop Sheen on TV
  • 00:24:18.060 --> 00:24:20.260
  • "has any preacher held my attention like you do."
  • 00:24:20.260 --> 00:24:23.180
  • Wow, did that touch me.
  • 00:24:23.180 --> 00:24:25.060
  • She said, "Years ago, I was turned off
  • 00:24:25.060 --> 00:24:26.220
  • "by the teaching of the Church,
  • 00:24:26.220 --> 00:24:28.190
  • "and I just need to tell you
  • 00:24:28.190 --> 00:24:29.260
  • "that you've given me a new focus."
  • 00:24:29.260 --> 00:24:31.210
  • Woo, so glad about that.
  • 00:24:31.210 --> 00:24:34.020
  • I'm trying to help people to receive salvation,
  • 00:24:34.020 --> 00:24:37.170
  • to become Christ-like.
  • 00:24:37.170 --> 00:24:39.240
  • I have all kinds of resources, 21 books to date.
  • 00:24:39.240 --> 00:24:42.170
  • One of my books called, "You Can Change"
  • 00:24:42.170 --> 00:24:44.290
  • will help you to forgive others.
  • 00:24:44.290 --> 00:24:47.010
  • Talks about seventy times seven and making that decision
  • 00:24:47.010 --> 00:24:50.220
  • and allowing God to help you.
  • 00:24:50.220 --> 00:24:53.000
  • So I hope that you'll get one of my resources,
  • 00:24:53.000 --> 00:24:55.110
  • a CD, DVD of this program, this series.
  • 00:24:55.110 --> 00:24:58.210
  • And when you do, it supports my television outreach.
  • 00:24:58.210 --> 00:25:02.130
  • I have many partners, also.
  • 00:25:02.130 --> 00:25:03.220
  • Consider becoming a partner with me,
  • 00:25:03.220 --> 00:25:05.260
  • and I guarantee you that when you do,
  • 00:25:05.260 --> 00:25:07.150
  • your money will be used to reach out with the Gospel
  • 00:25:07.150 --> 00:25:10.140
  • all around the world.
  • 00:25:10.140 --> 00:25:11.230
  • I'm a priest with a vow of poverty.
  • 00:25:11.230 --> 00:25:13.170
  • 100% of your money will go to the production
  • 00:25:13.170 --> 00:25:15.150
  • and airing of, "Live with Passion."
  • 00:25:15.150 --> 00:25:18.050
  • Thank you so much in advance.
  • 00:25:18.050 --> 00:25:19.150
  • Stay tuned for my announcer.
  • 00:25:19.150 --> 00:25:21.040
  • Don't just live, live with passion.
  • 00:25:21.040 --> 00:25:23.280
  • - [Narrator] The Bible is full of words about change.
  • 00:25:23.280 --> 00:25:26.130
  • It says, God gives us a new heart.
  • 00:25:26.130 --> 00:25:28.260
  • When we believe in Jesus, we are changed.
  • 00:25:28.260 --> 00:25:31.070
  • We are reborn.
  • 00:25:31.070 --> 00:25:32.130
  • We are made into a new creation.
  • 00:25:32.130 --> 00:25:34.150
  • Change was at the heart of Jesus' message.
  • 00:25:34.150 --> 00:25:36.180
  • So no matter what you're facing,
  • 00:25:36.180 --> 00:25:38.050
  • the good news is, you can change.
  • 00:25:38.050 --> 00:25:40.290
  • In Father Cedric's book, "You Can Change,"
  • 00:25:40.290 --> 00:25:43.190
  • you will discover that change is possible.
  • 00:25:43.190 --> 00:25:46.100
  • Change can happen when you believe the right things,
  • 00:25:46.100 --> 00:25:49.030
  • speak the right things, and visualize the right things.
  • 00:25:49.030 --> 00:25:52.130
  • In this book, you'll also learn
  • 00:25:52.130 --> 00:25:53.250
  • how to forgive others, manage anger,
  • 00:25:53.250 --> 00:25:56.000
  • confront fear, overcome lust, and recover from addiction.
  • 00:25:56.000 --> 00:25:59.120
  • This book will inspire and motivate you to change.
  • 00:25:59.120 --> 00:26:02.080
  • Call right now to get this special offer.
  • 00:26:02.080 --> 00:26:04.180
  • Call 844-FATHER-C.
  • 00:26:04.180 --> 00:26:06.220
  • That's 844-328-4372.
  • 00:26:06.220 --> 00:26:10.020
  • Go to frcedric.org or write us at Father Cedric Ministries,
  • 00:26:10.020 --> 00:26:14.040
  • 430 Bunker Hill Road, Houston, Texas, 77024.
  • 00:26:14.040 --> 00:26:17.100
  • 100% of your donations will be used
  • 00:26:18.140 --> 00:26:20.150
  • to produce and air, "Live with Passion."
  • 00:26:20.150 --> 00:26:22.290
  • Don't just live, live passionately.
  • 00:26:24.040 --> 00:26:26.150
  • Jesus came to bring us abundant life,
  • 00:26:26.150 --> 00:26:28.270
  • a life filled with joy, hope, and purpose.
  • 00:26:28.270 --> 00:26:31.200
  • For over a decade, Father Cedric Pisegna
  • 00:26:31.200 --> 00:26:33.280
  • has been sharing the life-changing message
  • 00:26:33.280 --> 00:26:35.260
  • of hope with people around the world.
  • 00:26:35.260 --> 00:26:37.260
  • As a priest with a vow of poverty,
  • 00:26:37.260 --> 00:26:39.240
  • Father Cedric's programs and resources
  • 00:26:39.240 --> 00:26:41.230
  • are created with one purpose in mind.
  • 00:26:41.230 --> 00:26:43.230
  • To change lives.
  • 00:26:43.230 --> 00:26:45.050
  • Would you consider calling and giving today?
  • 00:26:45.050 --> 00:26:47.080
  • It's only because of generous people like you who give
  • 00:26:47.080 --> 00:26:49.280
  • we are able to reach multitudes.
  • 00:26:49.280 --> 00:26:52.150
  • Every day, we hear life-changing testimonies
  • 00:26:52.150 --> 00:26:55.030
  • from people who watch us on television.
  • 00:26:55.030 --> 00:26:56.250
  • As always, we treasure the support of our partners.
  • 00:26:56.250 --> 00:26:59.220
  • As a priest with a vow of poverty,
  • 00:26:59.220 --> 00:27:02.000
  • you can know that 100% of your donation
  • 00:27:02.000 --> 00:27:04.150
  • will go directly toward producing and airing,
  • 00:27:04.150 --> 00:27:07.010
  • "Live with Passion."
  • 00:27:07.010 --> 00:27:08.080
  • To partner with us, call 844-FATHER-C.
  • 00:27:08.080 --> 00:27:11.050
  • That's 844-328-4372.
  • 00:27:11.050 --> 00:27:14.110
  • Or go to frcedric.org.
  • 00:27:14.110 --> 00:27:16.130
  • Write as at Father Cedric Ministries,
  • 00:27:16.130 --> 00:27:18.180
  • 430 Bunker Hill Road, Houston, Texas, 77024.
  • 00:27:18.180 --> 00:27:22.280
  • Thank you.
  • 00:27:22.280 --> 00:27:23.230
  • (light tones)
  • 00:27:25.010 --> 00:27:27.160