Summary: This sermon deals with the reality that forgiveness is a choice on all levels.
Forgiveness is one of the most precious ingredients needed in building loving and lasting relationships. Let’s suppose for a moment you were the owner of a store and your product was bottles of forgiveness.
What marketing strategy would you use to advertise? Would you show two couples yellow and screaming at each other, but after visiting your store, the couple would be looking at each other all starry eyed and ready to join their lips in a very romantic passionate kiss.
Would you show a person stealing someone’s money, but who is later caught and arrested? But after using your product, the person is at peace again with person who was cheated.
Would you show a teenager running down the hall in tears after being ridiculed by other teens. But after purchasing your product, she and the other teenagers are the lunchroom table laughing and talking together. In your commercial, who is the hero, the person who receives forgiveness, the person who grants it, or the bottle of forgiveness itself?
As the store owner, what would do about issue of the price to charge for the hurt caused? How does the price of forgiveness compare for the person who lied on you, to the price of the person who ran off with your husband or your wife? Is the same quality of forgiveness needed by a child to a parent as from a parent to a child?
Is the price higher or lower for forgiveness needed for something that happened 20 years ago as for something that happened 20 minutes ago? Is the price going to be fixed so that everybody has to pay the same amount or will it be on a sliding scale so that everyone could afford it? Will there ever be special
sales on forgiveness where you can get two for the price of one?
Think for a moment of a time when you did something that hurt somebody pretty badly. You might not have had any intention to hurt them, but you did. You went to the person to apologize but they didn’t want anything to do with you. They simply gave you the hand, or hung up the phone, or simply said “I don’t care, so whatever”
At first, it might be kind of nice to have an alternative store to go to and simply purchase some forgiveness for yourself. But would you pour the bottle of forgiveness on yourself to feel forgiven, or would you try to persuade the person you hurt to let you pour it on them so that they could forgive you?
If you were the person that was wronged, would you feel cheated knowing that someone could go and purchase a bottle of forgiveness, that could cause you to have to forgive them? Don’t you have a right to be as upset with the person for as long as you please, and don’t you have a right to be bitter toward the person till the day you die.
Isn’t one of the privileges of being hurt, the right to get even and get revenge? Don’t you have a right to burst a blood vessel and have a stroke because your blood pressure goes sky high just thinking about the evil this person has done to you. Aren’t you entitled to every time you see them, you just want to go choke them by the neck. Sometimes our rights can make our lives absolutely miserable.
Let’s talk about a young man named David. Here is a young man that fell in love with God while spending time out on the grassy hills, day after day watching his father’s flocks of sheep. He sang praise song after praise song to help pass the time away.
As he went about being a shepherd by defending the sheep from lions and bears, leading the sheep to water to drink, and taking the sheep to one green pasture after another, it struck him later in life to write to one portion of Scripture a lot of people know. Psalm 23. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
David had enjoyed being out in the rolling green hills carefully watching and taking care of the sheep and their lambs. One day God decided to interrupt David’s choice of career. He sent the prophet Samuel to anoint David to be the next king of Israel. The only problem was, there was already a king by the name of Saul, and he was not interested in giving up the job.
God blessed David so that David left the sheep and went to become a giant killer. He killed Goliath and won the king’s heart. David was given a beautiful room in the king’s palace. The king put David in charge of the army, and God used David to win one battle after another. The king was happy until he heard the women sing a song, King Saul has slain thousands in battle, but David has slain 10,000’s.