Terry Stueck helps the reader gain insight into the motivation within that causes us to choose the paths we take. You will learn how to find the baggage, correctly forgive, and be set free from those paths of anger, stress, hang-ups, and addictions. You will improve your ability to “let go” by mastering the second component of forgiving, which most people are unaware of. You can learn to cure anger instead of just managing it. This book walks you through the “how to” of having real change in your life that will last. Terry Stueck has approached the subject in a practical way so that the reader can follow easily. Stueck brings the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount to life for the reader in simple, understandable terms that make forgiving everybody for everything instantly easy and within reach. The principles contained in Forgive Instantly will truly set you free. The book is great aid for anger management and marriage counseling. It is a must read for those wanting to follow God in a deeper way.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 and up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Personal life failures set me on a journey to search for the answers and solutions to why we do the wrong things or make bad choices. I found the answers in the word of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. It is far better to seek to follow Jesus than it is to follow knowledge. Much learning and Bible knowledge is not the answer. Learning is a worthy goal, but what good does it do to know something if you don’t deeply understand it or follow it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to be a follower of Jesus and not of Paul, Peter or other leaders of the Christian world. Following a denomination makes you a follower of someone’s interpretation of the Bible. I sought to dig deep into Jesus and just follow Him. It was not enough to know what He said, but rather to actually do what He said was life changing.
My four words—forgive everybody for everything—were working well in my life. I had purged my heart of the baggage of the past and was free from the anger associated with it. Peace had arrived in my life, and the world was a whole new place for me to enjoy. When new offenses came at me, I was able to forgive them, but often there was a lag time. Sometimes hours or even a day would pass, and my mind would dwell on the offense even though there was no anger. The offense was more like a weight as I wrestled each occurrence as an individual event.
The goal to somehow master instant forgiveness and reduce the time to zero from an offense occurring until it was forgiven became the new challenge. I thought it a worthy goal but felt instant forgiveness could only be mirrored closely and not actually duplicated. I began to search the scripture for help. This task was going to require more of God’s power and far less of mine.
My attitude changed when I read Jesus’s words in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” “All right, Lord,” I said, “show me the way. I am ready to believe all that you have said and made available to me. If you can forgive instantly, then it is within our ability to do the same.”
From that new foundation, a whole new aspect of Bible-truth began to emerge from the scriptures so closely linked to forgiveness that it was the logical progression of study. The scriptures opened to the key that made instant forgiveness possible and easy. The fundamental principle was “ownership.”
Deeper spiritual lives had always been defined by my past denominations as “making Jesus your ‘Lord’ or ‘Master’.” More spiritual people were defined as those who let Jesus master them or manage their affairs. They were termed “more dedicated.” Common prayers sounded similar to “Lord, help me sell my house” or “Should I sell my house?” or “Lord, show me what to do.” There was a management level from God but the responsibility still rested on the individual. The burden was still in the hands of the Christian and not God.
“Ownership” takes your relationship to God one step deeper. It gives back this earth and everything, including you, to God and leaves HIM responsible as the “owner” of the universe.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lost their innocence. Their loss of innocence gave them the ability to sense moral issues, and they could now be aware that they were wearing no clothes. People can see the simple truth of loss of innocence very easily.
Something far greater than simple innocence was lost, Adam and Eve lost sight of God as their owner. In their mind, they thought they were the owners. Now they could make the rules. Rules define the relationship so they were now in control of their relationship to God. God’s rule had defined the relationship by establishing who the rule maker was and who would be the rule keepers. Now they owned the rules. Since they owned the rules, they also owned themselves, the new rule makers. By denying God as the owner, they seized His authority over them. They became responsible for themselves.
Because of ownership, you are on the hook for every problem that comes your way regarding all you possess. Ownership makes you responsible. You are responsible for your rules since you make them. When someone breaks the rules, you become the rule enforcer or judge and have now entered a whole new world. Good luck with that! Life just changed for you and is suddenly more difficult. You have stepped into areas that belong only to God. You have become the owner—your very own god.
The first marital argument was now possible. “You can’t say that to me” was something you could hear in conversations now in the garden. After all, you can’t speak to an owner that way. “Let’s discuss this; I have a say here as part owner.” “You owe me an apology.” These statements only became possible after the fall of Adam and Eve. “I have rights” had to be an early phrase as Adam and Eve left the Garden through the Eastern Gate. “Mine” and “my” became buzzwords for children soon after uttering “mommy” and “daddy.”
Men and women had become owners of the earth and themselves and, as owners, now became the rule makers and enforcers. Therefore, when someone offends you, that person owes you, the rule maker, a price or penalty for the offense. Ownership issues lead to hard feelings and bitterness when we think our rights as owner are violated.
If someone were to damage your car, they would not reimburse the car for the damage it sustained. They would pay the repair estimate to you, the owner of the car. Can I make this clear? Are you getting this simple principle of ownership? They would not owe the car. They would owe the owner of the car. If the car tried to collect the money that was due, it would be trying to steal its ownership.
That very thing happens when we take ownership of ourselves. When we say, “You owe me an apology,” we are claiming ownership and setting ourselves up as the responsible party. By taking ownership of ourselves, we are taking ownership away from God. When we have been damaged or hurt by some action or offense, the perpetrator owes the owner for the damage, but we step in front of God and say, “Don’t pay God, you owe ME.” In expressing that claim, I have assumed my own ownership. We commit the same failure as Adam and Eve when we try to take ownership of ourselves. We are falling into the same trap. We elevate ourselves above God who is the rightful owner.
God owns us because He created us. “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is HE who has made us and not we ourselves. We are HIS people and the sheep of HIS pasture” (Psalm 100:3). God owns us because He purchased us back from a life of running from God. “You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 CEV).
In order to master instant forgiveness, we must give up ownership of ourselves. We must see God as our owner and firmly give that title back to HIM where it rightfully belongs. Pull out the deed file in your heart and transfer ownership back to God. When you make Him owner of you and of all you possess, you can begin to experience the peace known only in the Garden before the fall.
If we follow the scripture and firmly declare God to be our owner, we can forgive instantly as Jesus did on the cross. If God is our owner, the offender who hurts us does not owe us. He owes our owner, who is now God. You no longer are owed anything. The offenders owe God for the damages done unto you—now they have just offended the greatest power in the universe. You need to pray for them for mercy. God has unlimited power to devastate their day or even their life. He owns you and is the largest collection agency in the universe. Your offenders are going to need your prayers. They are now dealing with a force they cannot possibly beat. They have just incurred a debt to the master of all creation, God.
Before, you thought praying for those who hurt you was difficult or near impossible. With God as your owner, you will smile and enjoy praying for those who need your help dealing with your titleholder. Luke admonishes us to: “Pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28 EMTV). When someone cuts you off in traffic, you can now pray for them. “God, I know they owe You for that little prank that nearly hurt me. I know You can ruin their entire day or even kill them, but, Lord, I am okay. It did not hurt very badly. Show mercy to them and don’t collect more than what is necessary to satisfy You.” Praying for those who hurt you can be really fun and satisfying when you have the right relationship with God.
That is why the Bible records, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” says the Lord (Romans 12:19 ESV). All sin or offenses are against God and Him alone, records King David in the Psalms: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4a ESV).
When you make God your owner, you revert to a time before the fall in the Garden. You can take back your life as He created you and instantly forgive. Since they owe God now for any hurts that come your way, you really can forgive instantly by leaving the matter in God’s hands since He owns it. You can dodge any slice of the collection process. The offense is not against you, but against God. You can instantly forgive and step back. You don’t want to be standing too close when God decides to collect for damages to one of His possessions that He dearly loves and respects.
Once we return to the original true ownership of God concept, we are able to forgive instantly. Now we have the tool to accomplish what seemed impossible before. Now we can keep our lives clean and free of hard feelings, stress, anger, addictions, criticalness, control of others, and the like. Now the truth has set us free (John 8:32).
We cannot get the innocence back that was lost in the garden, but we can get HIS ownership back. You can declare yourself to be HIS possession. Include yourself in the Lord’s deed He holds to the earth and all who live as recorded in the Psalms: “The earth and everything it contains are the LORD’S. The world and all who live in it are HIS” (Psalms 24:1 GW). It is a frame of mind that will keep you free from ever getting more baggage and it is HIS ownership that makes instant forgiveness possible. The final phrase of the Lord’s Prayer is “THINE is the kingdom, power and glory forever. That is a clear statement of HIS ownership for us to acknowledge.
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