Summary: If we have not understood the forgiveness which God has shown us, we will not be able to forgive others and we will be ineffective in our spiritual relationship with God and others.
If You Don’t Forgive Neither Will My Father
You can listen to this sermon on SoundCloud
About four years ago I jumped off a garage roof carrying a chainsaw that was still running.
Those who were here will remember I was on crutches for a few weeks … and hobbling for a long while after that.
Those who weren’t here and want to know the crazy story can ask me later.
But here is the strange thing.
Even now, years later, I can be doing nothing and the pain in my ankle will come back.
Or, my mind can wonder to that day and that moment, and the hurt that I was feeling will all of the sudden come back in my ankle and be just as real.
It is like the hurt never stops.
Physical pain works like that … doesn’t it.
But so does emotional, verbal and abusive pain.
There are many parents who love their children and treat them well.
But there are many parents who do not.
You hear parents say some terrible things to their children.
That they are useless and will amount to nothing.
That they are never helpful and always in the way.
If only you were like your sister you would have a better life.
This, and so much more.
It has an impact … a very negative impact that can last for years.
There can be times when relationships are broken, often as a result of poor communication.
One person has had a hard day at work - they have had a fall-out with a work colleague. So they come home from the hard day and brood.
Not saying anything, just shutting down.
The other person in that relationship is struggling with self-worth. They just need to talk and be encouraged.
But they face a partner who is shut down and brooding. “What have I done?” “Maybe I am to blame?”
The cycle continues. Break-down occurs. Hurts build up. The pain grows.
That is just two examples among 1000.
To get the most out of this message today I want you to identify your hurt.
Not out loud … just to yourself.
You’re thinking of that event, or moment, or person, or situation which, even after an extended period of time, still creates pain.
Like my ankle.
You could just be doing nothing … and suddenly the hurt comes back.
You could find yourself thinking about it … and the hurt hits as if new.
It doesn’t even need to be an old hurt. Maybe it is recent … or happening right now.
What is your hurt? You fill in the space as to what that is.
Now we are going to read some verses from Scripture.
The context is prayer … specifically Jesus teaching the disciples what to pray.
In that prayer Jesus teaches a petition
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Then just to be sure we really understand what this petition means Jesus clarifies with these words.
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.