Sid: You want everyone everywhere to be red hot for the Messiah but there’s something stopping you, you don’t have enough of the power of God to do this, you don’t have the anointing of God. Well did you ever stop to think that you’re in process of changing and that you can speed that change up so that you can be a new vessel to hold that new wine that is coming so that you can expand your wineskin, you can even expand your day, you can expand your health, you can expand your marriage. That’s what we’re talking about I’m interviewing RT Kendall. I’m speaking to him at his home in Key Largo, Florida. RT is the former Senior Minister of Westminster Chapel In London, England, also holds a PhD from Oxford University. He has a book that I recommend to everyone that’s called “Total Forgiveness – When Everything in You Wants to Hold a Grudge Point a Finger and Remember the Pain God Wants You to Lay it All Aside.” And on yesterday’s broadcast we were talking about what total forgiveness is an in fact sometimes our conversations off the air are better than on the air but in this case they’re going to be better on the air. Let’s pick up with that point you were raising right before we went on the air RT.
RT: Well a number of years ago there was a best seller by Dale Carnegie called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” And he makes a big point “Let the other person save face.” It’s an oriental expression, it’s when you cover for the person or acts like you don’t even know what they did they can preserve their self-esteem and their ego and so forth. And that is what Joseph did when he said to his brothers who had sold him to the Ismaelites 22 years before. And then saying now to Egypt Joseph could look at them and say “It wasn’t you who did it, it wasn’t you who sent me here it’s something God did.”
Sid: But you know there’s a thought exploding I hate to interrupt you but there’s a thought exploding inside of me “Many prisoners listen to our radio show and there are prisoners listening to us right now and some let’s just take an extreme are in prison because someone betrayed them or someone lied about them and they’ve been spending years in prison just nursing these hurts now they’re a Christian but they spent so much time developing and rehearing what this person did to them that it’s hard to break this; how do they do it?”
RT: Well Jim Bakker read my book when he was in the prison and he said that it changed his life and it set him free. He has a personal goal to put this book in every prison and to every prisoner in the world.
Sid: So he can really understand and relate because obviously all of us know the story of Jim Bakker.
RT: And so when a person in prison while he was there fairly or not usually has a lot of bitterness but the degree to which we forgive those who accused us or set us up, or let us down, lied about us. Sid we all got a story to tell there’s that person who was abused as a child, there’s that person that has been lied about and the world has believed the lie and you remain un-vindicated.
Sid: You don’t have to be in a physical prison to be in prison.
RT: Exactly, you’re in your own prison when you’re full of bitterness. Well, when you reach the place that you can say as Joseph did at one time was very bitter but now he’s a changed man he said “It wasn’t you who sent me here but God.” And these brothers they can’t believe it I can just hear Reuben whispering to Dan “Did we hear him right?” Asher says to Judah “Did he say we didn’t do it God did it?” And Joseph sets in and says “That’s exactly what I said.” And they can’t get over it they are amazed. And when I totally forgive I will let those people feel so good I won’t even let them know that it was ever a problem. Now believe me that isn’t easy and…
Sid: You know my wife likes to say and I’m sure it’s your reaction she like to say “Forgiveness is a process.” What do you think about that?
RT: Yeah I think so and it’s also a choice but you’ve got to keep doing it.
Sid: So it’s not a feeling.
RT: Oh no it becomes a feeling and I think that by the time it reached Joseph when Joseph faced his brothers it was by that time a feeling but initially it’s a choice Sid. And so your wife is right you’ve got a good wife her name if Joy you said.
Sid: Good name too (Giggling.)
RT: Well she’s right it is a process and you just keep doing it and you begin to feel it and your reach the place you just want them to save face. And I say that total forgiveness is when the other person doesn’t even know that it was a problem to you.
Sid: So until those feelings come it’s a love walk with God by faith.
RT: That’s right and you choose to do you may not feel like it but you do it you know that it’s right it’s a choice. The next proof that we’ve totally forgiven is that we protect that person from their greatest fear or maybe a deep secret. You may know something about another that if you told that it would destroy them.
Sid: And it would make your flesh feel so good.
RT: Yeah and you see Joseph knew what he could do to destroy those brothers of his all he had to do is say “You go back to Canaan and tell our father, Jacob, what you did and then I will see you again.” But you know what he knew they’d rather die than have to do that. And he tells them exactly what to say when he sends them back to Canaan he wants old Jacob to come and live in Egypt he writes a script for them Sid he won’t let them tell, he won’t let them tell what they did and when I have totally forgiven when any of us have totally forgiven we protect people from their fear. As I said most of us could destroy somebody, most of us know something about another person if we wanted to we could hurt them. But total forgiveness is when that person knows it will never be revealed and that’s the way God is with us.
Sid: Now what do you do if you understand this principal now but you failed in the past in those arenas?
RT: Just start in it again. I just say to people “Just start now if you’ve hurt people stop it, if you’ve been telling what they did just don’t do it anymore.”
Sid: You know there is an acceptable sin in Christianity you know what it’s called?
RT: (Laughing) Well you know I point out…
Sid: It’s not acceptable with God but it’s acceptable with religion.
RT: Well a point I made on a previous broadcast with you the other day the Holy Spirit is a very sensitive person and He’s depicted in the New Testament like a dove, a dove is a very shy bird. And the dove will just fly away without you knowing it when we do something that grieves the Holy Spirit we almost never know at the time when we grieved the Spirit that’s what we did and one of the main ways we do it is what you just referred to gossiping. When we gossip we don’t feel a thing it’s like Sampson when he gave his secret to Delilah he didn’t feel a thing but later found out he had grieved the Spirit and he didn’t have the strength he had before. That’s what you and I do and gossiping is a way of grieving the Spirit and we lose presence of mind.
Sid: How do you break yourself of that habit?
RT: I beg your pardon?
Sid: How do you break your…gossip is a habit it’s a bad habit how do you break yourself of that?
Sid: Well if you’ve been doing it for most of your walk with the Lord.
RT: Well the way you do it is to narrow the time gap between sin and repentance. How long does it take you to admit that you’ve sinned or how long does it take you to admit you were wrong? For some it takes years, for some it takes months, for some it takes a few days, for some it takes a few minutes. And if you can get to know the ways of the Holy Spirit so intimately that you can catch yourself and when you’re getting ready to say something about somebody that unflattering you can feel inside a loss of peace and you think “Awe there it goes I’m about to grieve the Spirit I stop myself and refuse to say that which would cause the dove to fly away.”
Sid: You know I’m reminded of David he was a man after God’s own heart and he was quick to repent but what you’re saying is “Catch yourself` before you have to repent.”
RT: Get to know was caused the Spirit to be grieved the other day and don’t let it happened today. Sixth point how to know you’re totally forgiven:
- You keep doing it’s a life sentence.
What happened was 17 years after Joseph brought them back to Egypt his father died, their father Jacob died, and the brothers concocted a story and they go up to Joseph and say “Look before our father died he told us to tell you “Please forgive us for what we did.” And Joseph can’t believe it “What on earth is a matter with you men I told you 17 years ago I forgave you, I forgave you then I forgive you now.” Which means he still did it it’s not a one off thing Sid. It’s not enough to say “Well I forgive you today look I’ve got to do it tomorrow.” Sometimes the wife will say to the husband “I thought you forgave me and he says “Well that was yesterday.”
RT: That’s not good enough it’s a life sentence and it’s something you keep doing. And this could be the hardest thing of all you just have to keep doing it.
Sid: But there’s a carat and that carat is that you can get the love of God that God wants for you, you can get the anointing of God that God wants for you, you can fulfill your destiny if that’s not a carat I don’t know what is.
RT: I can just tell you candidly that’s what works for me. I can tell you I hope I’m not sounding pious, I would rather have a greater anointing than anything in the world. In order to have that I’ve got to be sure that I do nothing knowingly that would grieve the Spirit. And the quickest way to grieve the Spirit is when I hold a grudge or when I’m angry.
Sid: We’re out of time.