Summary: This sermon deals with the choice between holding a grudge and choosing to forgive.

Forgiveness—Why Should I Forgive

Jeremiah 1:4-8 Romans 12:9-21 GNLCC 7/3/2011

Today we start a new series on the Apps For Life. Apps is short for Applications, which are programs that you can run on your smart phone to help you in life. There are are Apps to help you count calories, to help you shop, to help you with a to do list, and to count the distance that you run.

But as great are the Apps are, they can’t make you stop eating, control your spending habits, do the things on the list or actually get you to jog. You have to do these things. We are going to be looking at the Apps of forgiveness, encouragement, confession and trust. But for the Apps to do any good, we have to put them into practice.

Today we are going to look at Forgiveness. Is there anybody here, who has ever been hurt by somebody and you know you did not do anything to deserve what was done to you. Is there anybody here who would like to give someone a piece of your mind for what they said or did to you? Is there anyone here who has visualized in his or her mind what you would like to do to get even with somebody for what they did to you. I want you to know something else.

Everybody here is going to hurt somebody. Even when you are trying to do the right thing, somebody close to you is going to misunderstand you, and will be hurt by it. When you do something good for someone else, someone is going to be jealous of your actions, and feel hurt because you did not do the same for them. There is a lot of pain in our families, because we think somebody else got more of what we deserved or somebody got away with something and we did not.

In life none of us can get everything we want or everything we think we deserve. So all of us have been set up to be hurt. All of us are going to be hurt. We have too many unrealistic expectations of ourselves and of others. There is no pass through hurt free card in life. The future of our lives is often shaped by the hurt we experience as we go through life. But what’s even a greater factor in shaping our lives is how we choose to react to the hurt. There are really two options. We can hold a grudge or we can choose to forgive.

Now the option of holding a grudge looks really good and for a while it feels good. It feels like you’ve done something when you say “I’ll never speak to that ole whatever again.” You get pleasure out of rolling your eyes when you see that person. You enjoy telling them off in your mind. It feels good to imagine walking up to them and just knocking the day lights out of them. You feel a sense of triumph if you find out something bad happened to them. You even spiritualize it by saying “Ahh hah, God don’t like ugly.

Holding a grudge is the natural thing to do when you have been hurt? But does holding a grudge really work? Some of the grudges that stick to us the hardest are the ones we had a role in creating the feelings in the first place.

Here comes you baby’s daddy, and now that you see what everybody tried to tell you before you fell in love, your blood pressure is going off the charts you are so angry at him. You’re still angry at your parents, and won’t let the kids visit their grandparents. You won’t show up at family events, because that person is going to be there.

You hate your teacher because of that failing grade you got that kept you from graduating or being promoted. You just get mad at everybody each time you think about your exspouse, your ex boss, your ex whatever. People know not to get around you when that person is on your mind. Is holding that grudge really working for you?

The longer you hold a grudge, the longer the grudge will hold you. You’ve got chains that you don’t even see holding you down. You can’t really move forward in life because a grudge keeps pulling you back to that incident in the past. The deeper you hold on it, the deeper it clings to you.

The emotional weight will become too much for you to handle. You become an angry person without realizing what you’re doing. You lash out at anybody that looks like that person, acts like that person, reminds of you that person or has a place in your life like that person.

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