Replacing Judgment with Attitudes of Forgiveness

Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

“Hello, my name is Ryan Moffat and I’m a recovering Pharisee”

The whole room knew exactly what to do….”Hello, Ryan”, they responded in unison. Though it was awkward for me to start my teaching in such a straightforward, “in your face” manner, it wasn’t for those in the room. This was the just another night at our Church’s “Celebrate Recovery” ministry.

See, when you’re with a bunch of down and outers, those who have hit rock bottom in life, who have lost houses, spouses and children due to their addiction there’s no pretense or BS.

When you’re in a room speaking to them you don’t have time to play games, it’s life or death for most of the people that were in the room that night.

I decided to open up my life and my heart with them, and what I found during that evening with 60-70 broken people is that there is great power in a group of people who have stopped the pretense, stopped playing the game and took the risk of opening their lives and hearts with God and with each other.

Jesus said a lot of “upside down” things in his day and age and one of those paradoxical/counter-intuitive statements that he made was when a naughty lady got caught in the ultimate act of “sketchy behavior”. It’s the story Luke tells in his gospel about when Jesus deals with some Pharisees who found a woman caught in adultery.

There’s a lot of information in the story we don’t get…like, how did these Pharisees catch a woman in perverse sexual sin (sounds like pornographic stuff to me). Whatever the case Jesus knew that there was a sneakier, more threatening, killer than even promiscuous, perverted sex.


Jesus knew that the greatest threat to any individual was an inner “self-righteousness” that becomes the very antithesis of grace. This is where Jesus shares some of the most poignant wisdom the world has ever known:

Attractive man breathing outdoor“I tell you the truth, He who has been forgiven much, loves much.”

The amazing part about grace is that it so magnificently and wonderfully touches a life that the only appropriate response is to give it away to others.

Once you decide to stop the self-judgment, accept the forgiveness God offers you will find new inner strength and bandwidth to give love, grace and forgiveness away to others.

I continue to recover from my self-righteousness, my self-promoting, my self-justification and all of my other “self-sins” day by day. I wonder what would happen for you if you joined me in the grace-oriented, recovery project?

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How have you approached learning to love yourself and forgive yourself in your recovery?

Ryan Moffat FamilyAbout the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 16, 2015
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