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Clark's Unforgivable Sin

This pastor wanted to forgive the man who attacked him—and just couldn't.

A church member e-mailed me after I had preached a sermon on forgiveness. She wrote, "It's easy for you to stand up there and preach about the need to forgive, but some days the pain is just too great."

I wrote back, providing an illustration from my experience with a man who, several years earlier, had tried to oust me from the church where I was pastor. He had made many false accusations about me, first behind my back, then publicly, at a standing room-only meeting. He claimed that I was not preaching the truth from God's Word, and that I was not doing my job as a minister of the gospel.

My enemy attacked all the things to which my life had been dedicated. At that meeting, though, God won that battle, in prayer, as we surrendered to Him. Almost the entire church dropped to her knees in prayer and the angry accuser stormed out of the room.

I didn't take revenge. I let God handle it. And He did a much better job than I could have.

After the smoke had cleared though, I struggled with debilitating ...

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