here are the slides from this morning > Forgiveness 2

Odds are, you have some unforgiveness in your life.  Odds are, someone has hurt you deeply, offended you, abandoned you, humiliated you, abused you, shunned you … and you are still carrying that offense around.  Unforgiveness is like a hot coal.  If you hang onto it, it’ll burn you up.

And you might say, “Not me.  Nope.  I’m not holding onto any unforgiveness” and you can test that by seeing if you have any of these running around inside your heart … I have or want to take revenge on someone.  I am bitter towards someone.  I slander them, gossip about them.  I call them names either out loud or to myself i.e. “jerk”, “idiot”, etc.  I reject that person.  I avoid a person so as to punish them.  I intentionally don’t do something I know they want me to do so I can get even with them.  I’m a bigot.  I judge them or label them based on their race.  I judge her because she is a woman.  Internally, I wish for bad things to happen to them i.e. that “they get what they deserve”.

If you are saying/doing/feeling any of these towards another person, you’ve probably got the disease of unforgiveness in your system and like cancer, it’ll do great damage to you if left untreated.

We talk a lot about wounds and they are real.  Father wounds, mother wounds, brother wounds, spousal wounds, etc.  We don’t seek to minimize the pain you’ve experienced.  It is real, profound and destructive.  Some of you come from abusive homes.  Many of you had fathers who cheated on the family and left home.  Many had fathers or mothers who said you’d never amount to anything or that you were a disappointment to them.  These are real.  But when we take those wounds in and carry them, they can do great harm to us.  “If my Mom told me I was worthless, that must be my diagnosis for life.  It must be true.”  Not so.  It may just be painful words from a deeply troubled woman.  But it is not truth.  You are a child of God, beloved and adored.

The key is what do we do with these wounds?  Carry them?  Believe them?  Allow them to become Goliath’s that can always taunt us and knock us down?  Or, can we release them and take down Goliath by forgiving that person and releasing them.

Forgiving them doesn’t make them right, it just makes you free.

What struck me so profoundly in preparing this session was just how easily I have forgotten what Jesus did for me.  You see, I have become quick to judge.  Quick to determine “he is a jerk” and thereby rationalize why I will have nothing to do with him any longer.  There is a man that I have been crossed up with 3-4 times in completely different circumstances.  We’ve almost come to blows.  It has seemed that he has just been looking for a reason to hate me.  To my knowledge, I’ve never done anything to him but, for whatever reason, he just doesn’t like me.  Through that, I’ve been quick to judge him, label him and even slander him.

As Jimmy Evans says in the video when he relates a similar story in his life, God has convicted me of my judgment of this man.  I don’t know much of his story other than he is a believer (how do two believers allow this to happen?) and that he came from a very tough home and has a somewhat fractured relationship with his father.  God says to me what He said to Jimmy Evans – “You see that man for what he did to you, I (God) see him for what was done wrong to him as a child”.

I have no right to judge him.  He just may not like me.  That’s OK.  But I should not judge him.  The danger in all this is, that as long time believers, it is very easy for us to slip into the place of thinking we are God’s favored son, we’ve done nothing wrong, in fact – we’re right (!), we’re “preferred” … and the danger is in all of this, we have completely forgotten our salvation, the Cross and our sin.  We think we “deserve” God because we are so “good”.  We’ve forgotten our responsibility for putting Jesus on that Cross.  It was my sin that put him there, not this other man that I am so quick to call a jerk.

I have no place to judge and I have no right to refuse forgiveness.  All my sin was washed away on that cross but I have allowed myself to start judging others and carrying around a lot of unforgiveness towards others.  It’s dangerous and it’ll eat you alive.

Pay attention.  See what Father is saying to you in this regard.

Flip through the slides.  Watch the talk by Jimmy Evans and pray that the good Lord will cleanse you of your “self-righteousness” because, my friend, you have NONE other than through Jesus and His blood.  To Him be all Glory!

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