Summary: 2nd of 4 on Friendship with God. Forgiveness is a decision that God made to give you and that you can make to give others.
Getting Past the Pain
If I have a brand new car with 20 miles on it and park it in the parking lot and you carelessly come driving in and smash into the side of it, doing $8000 damage, you and I are going to have a problem with our relationship!
Let’s suppose that just such a thing happens and you are unemployed and don’t have any insurance. Let’s say you come to me contritely and say, "Rick, I realize that in my carelessness, I have wronged you terribly. Will you forgive me?" If I say, "Yes," who pays for the damages?
I do! You go free!
Forgiveness is never a receipt given for a debt paid in full. If you come to my house and, in a lighthearted moment, break a priceless family heirloom that cannot be replaced, and I say, "I forgive you," who bears the loss?
This Sunday I will be teaching about the Reconciliation Dynamic. We’re going to look at critical concepts like Sin, hardened hearts, and broken hearts. I’ll be showing you how you can determine if someone really has a broken heart through the their "Say So" and your "See So". But most important of all I’ll be giving you the critical pieces to reconciling broken relationships - in your home, at work, and with your God.
The best news is that no matter how deep the wound and how profound the pain you can be restored and the relationship can be made new!
God made you and I to be Friends with Him
When God made mankind there was an agenda. There was motive. God wanted someone to love.
You can see it in the account of creation in Genesis 1-3. Everything was made for man and everything was good – except his being alone. So God created woman. Now that lead to problems but here in this passage we see the foundation of friendship between God and man.
They walked together and talked together - until the pain started. The pain started when sin began.
Sin causes separation and pain
Sin is a wedge that drives a barrier between people. Sin is rooted in self and personal desire. Sin has the effect of focusing on you instead of them and that creates pain. Real pain.
Between God and man
Between man and woman
Between parent and child, sisters, brothers, associates at work. Sin damages and destroys relationships.
Guilt comes out of Sin.
The Indians concept of conscience was described as a square peg with sharp edges that turned when ever there was sin. If you sinned long enough without changing the sharp edges wore down and there was no longer any pain… This is the hardened heart.
How we respond to guilt is important. Reconciliation cannot happen if the heart is hard.
My first ministry I met a man who was the song leader. He had kind of a arrogant – look at me – attitude. I didn’t really pick up on it but my wife sure did. She warned me that something wasn’t right with this man and about a month later we discovered he was having an affair.
I talked with him about the decision he needed to make about the guilt of sin he was feeling – either to allow himself to grow cold and hard or to become a broken hearted man.
Pharoah hardened his heart – this is a decision to reject God and turn from him. Eventually this becomes a permanent condition – Hell is eternal separation from God – we choose it by hardening our hearts.
God wants our hearts to break – not to be harsh but so that we will feel his pain – that is what guilt is – pain. Emotional and at times even physical
David writes in Psalms 38:
LORD, don’t correct me when you are angry.
Don’t punish me when you are furious.
2 Your arrows have wounded me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 My body is sick from your punishment.
Even my bones are not healthy because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me;
like a load it weighs me down.
5 My sores stink and become infected
because I was foolish.
6 I am bent over and bowed down;
I am sad all day long.
7 I am burning with fever,
and my whole body is sore.
8 I am weak and faint.
I moan from the pain I feel.
God loves and tenderly cares for the broken hearted…
Look at 1 John 1:8-9.
This isn’t a one time thing… this is written in the greek present tense which describes continuous action.
Repentance is a Godly sorrow that leads us back toward the person and away from the sin. But repentance by itself doesn’t restore the relationship. It just starts us on the road back to a friendship with God.