"We have to have a good dose of forgiveness if a marriage, or any relationship, is to survive." --Pastor Doug's introductory remark.
The scripture lesson is Matthew 18:19-35, in which Jesus tells the parable of the servant who was forgiven by the master, but who refused to forgive a fellow servant.
- Forgiveness is not easy.
- If we don't forgive, we allow satan a foothold in our life.
Are you "keeping score"? Any relationship that has a "scoreboard" is an unhealthy relationship.
Jesus said to Peter, Chill out, set your anger aside. In the parable, we see that the king was angrier about the lack of compassion than he was about the debt, which was probably the result of embezzlement.How we treat others matters more to God than how we treat Him.
Those who have been forgiven must forgive. "His mercies are new every morning." --Lamentations 3:23.
Why should I forgive?
- Satan. Failure to forgive gives him a foothold.
- Me. If you want peace instead of bitterness, you must forgive.
- You are not perfect. (Believe it or not.)
- Christ forgave you. As he said on the cross, "Paid in full."
You can't live in peace if you don't forgive.
How do I forgive?
- Make a decision to forgive. Whether you "feel" like forgiving is irrelevant.
- Say the words, "I forgive."
- When you forgive, forgive. We are not talking right or wrong.
- Forgive completely. Colossians 3:13 " -as the Lord forgave you."
- Forgive repeatedly. Pastor used the onion as an illustration. Forgiving may require peeling off layer after layer (forgiving over and over). The onion gets smaller AND there may well be some tears involved.
- Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting.
- Forgiving doesn't mean trusting. Forgiveness is granted, not earned. Trust is earned.
If you refuse to forgive someone, that person owns you, pushes your buttons.
Cautionary word. If there is an issue between you and another, certainly clear the air as you forgive. If, though, the person doesn't know you have harbored ill feelings, don't go to him with it. Just forgive it.