Summary: Life's Choices
MATTHEW 6:14-15 “I CHOOSE TO FORGIVE – PART 3”
A) If you’re wondering how to heal the past and get some forward momentum going,
the answer is without a doubt, forgiveness.
* I know you’ve heard that word before, but don’t knock it until you have really tried
it according to the principles of God’s Word.
* Forgiveness is much easier to say than to accomplish, yet it is a God-given mandate
that brings incredible healing.
B) Please remember, we are the followers of Christ, and our Lord has commanded
us to stay busy in this matter of forgiveness.
* How about a quick review of Jesus’ teaching on the subject?
C) Wow – Are you ready for that? – Those are some pretty significant statements.
* Let me do this one more time ... You think about the ways that you’ve failed God.
* Have you thought of them? ... Now pray this, “God, I want You to forgive me the way
that I forgive other people.”
D) Where would you be if the Lord chose to forgive you as you forgive others?
* Somehow God is keeping track of the way that we forgive and the degree to which we
forgive, and He is measuring His forgiveness back to us in the same portion. – Yikes!
E) But Jesus didn’t simply talk about forgiveness .......
* He modeled it in His every¬day life ... Let me give you just a couple of examples:
* From the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11) to His final words on the cross in
Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
* Jesus was, and is all about forgiveness – How about you?
F) If you profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ, are you all about forgiveness?
* No doubt there are countless people who have injured you – They have said false things
about you – They have wounded you with their actions and reactions.
* Maybe the hardship came from a supervisor at work, or a neighbor across the street,
or a teacher in school – Maybe it came from another church member .......
G) But regardless of where it came from, the fallout from unforgiveness is huge.
* It’s huge, and nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the home.
* So much of the anger and strife that exists in the family today is rooted in people’s
unwillingness to forgive.
H) I want to be really clear about what I mean by forgiveness.
* It’s important for us to be on the same page if we’re going to get anywhere,
so here’s our working definition.
* Forgiveness is a decision to release a person from the obligation that resulted when
they injured you.
ILLUSTRATION OF DOING SOMEONE WRONG
A) Imagine for a moment that I dumped a bowl of breakfast cereal in Libby’s
lap for no other reason than to aggravate her.
* Of course that would be wrong, and as a result of my choice to injure my wife,
there would be an existing obligation – In a sense I would owe her.
* I did something that was not right, and now I am in debt to her.
B) Of course the matters that separate in families are much more serious than
a cereal spill .......
* But the silliness shows the simplicity of the choice we must make in matters more severe.
C) My wife would be faced with two choices: Either she could become bitter
and suffer over the wrong done against her .......
* Or she could release me from the obligation that resulted when I injured her.
* That is the essence of forgiveness – A decision to release a person from the obligation
that resulted when they injured you.
D) My prayer is that, as you listen to me today, God will reveal whom you need
to forgive ... The specifics of that forgiveness .......
* And that you will then make a choice to forgive them – Are you up for the challenge?
IN MY YEARS OF MINISTRY
A) In the past 21 years as pastor of CHCC, I have frequently faced the fact that
the only way forward is forgiveness.
* Waiting for the person to figure it out has produced only silence and greater tension
* Demanding that I be heard or heeded in a matter of injustice has only made things worse.
B) Appealing to third parties for sympathy and affirmation of my just cause has
taken me further into self-pity and self-justification.
* We are not without fault in most matters needing our forgiveness.
* The only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing that has promised and actually provided