Summary: Understanding the brute that is the grudge, barriers to forgiveness and benefits of forgiveness.From two week Adult Sunday School class.
Forgiveness - A Two Week Study
Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types if malicious behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Other words for Forgiveness:
Pardon Clemency Mercy Absolution Amnesty Exoneration
Other words: _____________________________________________________
I. The Brute that is the Grudge
A grudge is a beast that conquers its owner.
Acting like an internal contract, the grudge obligates us to be unhappy and unhealed.
Most people with a pulse hold some kind of tiny or large quantity of bitterness in their heart from the past or present-because the world can be a hurtful place.
• Sometimes a grudge starts with a tangible offense, but over time it imbeds itself cleverly. All that’s left then is a sensation of mistrust or dislike.
• Sometimes we remember the intricate details of our resentment.
• It is an internal standpoint hurting the wounded more than the wrongdoer.
Grudges are fortresses of the malcontent.
• The quiet wounded and the irritable, ill-tempered have grudges in common.
II. The Use of Carrying a Grudge
• We harbor grudges because…
1) We are still wounded and unhealed
2) It makes us feel better to keep the grudge.
a. We believe injustice should be remembered so it punishes the wrongdoing or saves us from future pain.
b. We feel more in control
Jesus says to Peter, “Even if he wrongs you seven times a day each time turns again and ask forgiveness, forgive him.” Luke 17:4
Romans 5:8 But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
III. Determining your Freight of Unforgiveness
An unforgiving heart carries cargo with no pay.
• Past hurts
A bully from childhood, a betrayal, an absent parent, or other troubles may create wounds that don’t seem to wholly mend.
• Present hurts
Ongoing problems, and circumstances
• Detective work may be needed and revisiting your hurts
IV. Side-effects from Carrying Grudge Luggage
• Life goes on for them and not you
The offender may carry on with life whereas the injured person clutches to new pain with the memories of the transgression.
• Repeated sufferings.
A fractured relationship
A widening circle of mistrust
Deprived future relationships
Other side-effects: ______________________________________________________
V. Barriers to Unburdening
“If the will remains in protest, it stays dependent on that which it is protesting against”
- Rollo May
• Some wrongs seem unforgivable because they are unforgettable.
- Grave offenses and grief of a loss
• Repeated wrongs, ongoing fresh wounds
• Not sure of the next step
-Forgiveness verses reconciliation
• Fear of Surrendering Control
• Fear of Change
- The ease of unhealthy mechanisms
Other reasons: ______________________________________________________
“The angry people are those people who are most afraid.” - Dr. Robert Anthony
VI. The Truth about Forgiveness
Forgiving equals forgetting.
Forgiveness In Action
• Forgetting a wrongdoing utterly may end up as wasted life experience.
• Forgiveness is purely the waiving of our right to penalize. Forgiving is forgetting that you should blame or punish the one who hurt you.
• Forgiveness does not vindicate an offense. It is forgiveness that releases us from the offense.
• The forgiver quits shouldering the burden of injustice, and receives in that place freedom and eventual healing.
• As we release the right to reprisal, blessings and opportunity flood into our lives because grudges are dams that hold back liberation.
• Once the dam is broken renewal begins straightaway; Just as water in a perched land brings life and bounty.
• Forgiveness is not given on the merit of the offender, but regardless off it.
VII. Attaining Emancipation
• Search for any past or present unforgiveness in your heart and mind.
• Cancel the debt owed you.
• If possible, tell the perpetrator you have forgiven them without expecting anything in return.
• If that is not feasible, willfully within your heart, with the help of God, wholly cancel the debt to be freed.
Sometimes we can forgive only through the power of God
Mark 11:25 “But when you pray, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” –Jesus
VIII. Forgiveness carries it’s own reward as well as eternal rewards
• Release and Healing
Stories of Blessing
More Scriptures on forgiveness: Matt: 18:21-35