Summary: If you have ever attempted to repair anything you know that this can happen. You mean well. You are making an honest attempt but you just make things worse. It happens to pastors of course also.

“Breaking Free”

Matthew 5:7 & 9

100 women were asked to name something men try to fix but often just make it worse. These were their top answers.

1. Plumbing 41

2. Car 13

3. TV 9

4. Relationship 6

5. Fight 5

6. Dinner 4

If you have ever attempted to repair anything you know that this can happen. You mean well. You are making an honest attempt but you just make things worse. It happens to pastors of course also. One church posted this announcement in their Sunday bulletin….

Tonight the church will host an evening of fellowship and gracious hostility. It should of course have read hospitality. The pastor tried to correct it, apologized and said we are a loving church we’re not a hostile church. We love hurting people. So in trying to make things better we often just make them worse…sometimes much worse.

Jesus spoke to this in the Sermon on the Mount and said this….

5v. 7 Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.

5v. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers for the will be called sons of God.

Jesus had a lot to say about forgiveness and about our relationships with other people. Forgiveness doesn’t always come easy for us especially if we have experienced deep hurt, pain, rejection or have been betrayed by someone. And if anyone knew that and could speak to that subject it was Jesus.

Listen to what the prophet Isaiah had to say:

Isaiah 53:3-5 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

If anyone can teach us about the topic of forgiveness it is Jesus. Now a good question to start with is this one:

1st Question. Why should I forgive someone who has deeply hurt me? 3 reasons I want to give you.

1. Because God has forgiven us. Paul said in Colossians 3:13. Now here is a truth to remember …write it down

You will never have to forgive anybody else more than God has already forgiven you.

2. Because resentment doesn’t work. Look at it this way. Resentment will hurt you much more than the person you resent. Think about it. When you’re angry and resentful toward someone you you’re the one who’s

• Stewing over it

• Can’t sleep at night

• Developing ulcers

And guess what? They’re sound asleep.

Certainly there are those of us who have a hard time forgiving someone else. So what happens when we choose not to forgive? Bitterness, anger, stress all build up until eventually you explode and you think where in the world did that come from? You see you can only hold on to so much and then you have to release it.

Let me tell you something I have discovered. When you have a hard time forgiving someone else, it’s usually because you don’t feel forgiven. It is a fact that people who feel forgiven find it easier to be forgiving. They show more grace. Simple reason. It is almost impossible to pass along you have not experienced yourself.

3. Because you may need forgiveness in the future. When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding grudge against so that your Father will forgive you also.

Listen, I am not sure there is anything that can drain us more emotionally than bitterness and resentment. If you continue to replay the hurt you received from some significant person in your life all you will do is prolong the pain. Jesus said happy are those who work for peace.

2nd question. How do we forgive others? There are several things we have to do.

1. Reveal your pain. We usually have about 4 options here.

• You can act as though it doesn’t matter. It’s no big deal. But the problem is it is a big deal.

• You can admit it to someone. You see people can’t always see the pain you are going through.

• You can just beat the tar out of the person who hurt you. Which makes you feel better for a few minutes but not for long. And it won’t solve a thing.

Now once you reveal your pain you will be able to move to the next step. You will be able to

2. Release the offender. Here is a good question to think about: how will I know when I have fully released an offender? You will know when you can think about that person without feeling any resentment. Without feeling any pain. If the bitterness is gone you can know you have released them.

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