Sunday, April 19, 2015

That's Our Song: Forgiveness

Sometimes "sorry" is not enough.
One can say "sorry" yet not be good at forgiveness.


Forgiveness issue: holding a grudge.
Bitterness from pain not dealt with is easy to miss.  Sometimes couples don't even know that bitterness is the issue.  If left untreated bitterness will lead to damage to or death of the relationship.

I bring hope in the grace of Jesus Christ who can heal anything if we are willing to participate.

Bitterness can turn into indifference which can result in a disconnect.

Buried unresolved feelings will sooner or later come out from their shallow grave, and when they do, it isn't pretty.

Wrongs of the past may be dredged up to hang over your head as to why you are wrong now.  I call this living with Zombies.  Dead issues brought to life are not helpful.

"Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."  Romans 12:3 (NLT)
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)

Have you trouble forgiving?
  1. You may think too highly of yourself.  Assess your role in the situation.
  2. You may think too highly of the other person.  No one is perfect; we expect more than we should.  Give more grace as God gives grace to both you and the other party.
Forgiveness is not.
  1. forgetting
  2. a quick event.  Forgiveness is s process.
  3. painless.  Sacrifice is involved; must lay down of oneself.  It hurts.
  4. easy
  5. reliant on the other person.  Reconciliation is, but forgiveness is not. (But that is another sermon!)
Forgiveness is
  • letting go of the need to get even.  Too often we want "justice;" we want someone to "pay;"  God says, "Vengeance is mine."
  • a choice. Make sure the situation is dead and buried deeply.
  • a step toward healing.  You will be at peace.  Forgiveness is the pathway to freedom.
Forgiveness is grace offered and received.  It is received by God who pours out grace on you!

How can I forgive?
  1. Think of Christ who humbled himself. (Philippians 2)
  2. Be honest.
  3. Ask Christ to give you grace to forgive.
I will not throw past issues in their faces.  I will not judge according to faults.  I will lay it down.

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you". - Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

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