Summary: A sermon on forgiveness taken from blessed are the merciful and blessed are the peacemakers.(Taken from John Baker’s Book, Life’s Healing Choices on Choice #6)
Evening Service for 4/19/2009
(Mat 5:7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
(Mat 5:9 NIV) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
One Sunday morning during announcements, the preacher said, “I need to make a correction to an announcement from last week’s bulletin. It read: The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment, and gracious hostility. It should have read: The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment, and gracious hospitality. Sorry, folks, we are a loving church, not a hostile one. We love hurting people.” He then went on to say, “I just have one announcement for this morning. The peacekeepers meeting scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled due to a conflict.”
A. Sometimes in our attempts to make amends and correct a wrong, the situation is made worse. In this example, the corrections were attempts to make right something that was wrong. Though the results were not what was desired, the idea was right.
B. For Celebrate Recovery, an important step is to make corrections in our relationships by doing some relational repair work. Two step process:
1. Forgiving those who have hurt us
2. Making amends to those we have hurt.
C. Focus on two beatitudes tonight. Read them above.
D. When we are merciful to others, we are willing to forgive them, whether they deserve it or not. When we work for peace, we make a real effort to make amends where we have wronged another, and we work to bring harmony back into that relationship.
E. We are going to look back on our lives for the purpose of evaluating, not regretting. We’ll learn how to repair the damage that others have done to us and that we have done to others.
F. Best discussed in a more intimate or one and one setting but let’s go over the principles tonight.
Begin with forgiving others for the wrongs they have done against us.
Why should we forgive others?
1. Because God has forgiven us.
A. (Col 3:13 NIV) Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
B. (Eph 4:31 NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Eph 4:32 NIV) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
C. People who feel forgiven find it easier to be forgiving.
2. Because resentment doesn’t work. Resentment is unreasonable, unhelpful and unhealthy.
1) When we are angry and resentful toward a person, we are not hurting them; we are hurting ourselves. We are the ones who are stewing, spewing, stressing, and fretting. We are the ones who are losing sleep and being distracted from the joys of life. It’s not bothering them at all.
2) If someone has hurt us, 10, 20 or 30 years ago there is a good chance they have forgotten all about it. It’s making us miserable, but they have forgotten all about it.
3) It is a waste of energy.
1) Resentment cannot change the past, the problem, or the person who hurt us.
2) Have we ever known anyone to say, “I feel so much better being resentful?”
1) (Job 21:23, 25 NIV) One man dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease. Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.
2) Did we hear about the guy who walked into his doctor’s office and said, “I need some pills for my colitis?” The doctor asked, “Who are you colliding with now?”
3) Keep replaying the tapes over and over just leads to depression, stress, and fatigue. Nothing drains us emotionally like bitterness and resentment.
4) Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the peacemakers.
3. Because we will need forgiveness in the future.
A. (Mark 11:25 NIV) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
B. (Mat 6:12 NIV) Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
C. The story is told about a man who went to John Wesley and said, “I can never forgive that person. Never.” John Wesley replied, “Then I hope you never sin. Because we all need what we don’t want to give.”
How do we forgive others?
1. Reveal our hurt
A. I don’t want to. Well, we can repress this and pretend this didn’t happen. We can ignore it and try pushing it out of the way. We can suppress it and say, “It’s no big deal.” We need to admit it.
E. We can’t love someone and be angry with them at the same time. Not true!