3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Part 3 of series, Life’s Too Short To..., this message looks at forgiveness.

Life’s Too Short To. . .Carry A Grudge

Life’s Too Short To… prt. 3

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers


Describe the scene in the movie Rainman – “squeezed and pulled and hurt my neck.”

He writes this stuff in a journal, folks! Few of us keep an actual journal of offenses – we’re pretty content just to hold them all up here (head), or in here (heart).

Are you a grudge-carrier? Is there someone in your life who has hurt you whom you have not yet forgiven? Jesus spoke a lot about forgiveness. Let me tell you, in His own words, why Christ talked a lot about forgiveness.

John 10:10 (MSG)

10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Why did Jesus come? To give us real life – eternal life – a life that is different than any life we could otherwise know. Everything Jesus taught us is designed to help us begin to understand and enter in to this kind of life. So before we continue addressing the idea of grudge-carrying, let’s be sure we understand what Jesus is saying here. Once we fully understand that, we will have no problem seeing why Jesus said we must forgive.

“I came so they (meaning you and me!) can have real and eternal life – more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” Wow, that’s pretty groovy. Real life? Eternal life? More and better life that goes beyond our wildest imaginings? I’ll take it. But what is it? How can you have more life than we already have now? I mean, I’m already alive, right? So are you. So what does it mean when Jesus says he came to give us more life, and eternal life?

We think it’s all about the eternal part. We think that just means that it never stops – it goes on forever. I believe that’s part of what it means, but that we can’t stop there – it’s a limited understanding of what Jesus was really trying to say. What Jesus is talking about is a different KIND of life. Let me illustrate:

Check out this plant. This is a potted plant I had Sue bring in for me this morning. Not plastic, it’s real. Would you say this plant is alive? What makes it alive?

{Don’t linger on these illustrations – keep things moving}

[It “breathes,” processes food, gives off waste, responds to sunlight, etc.]

So we’re in agreement that this plant is alive? Excellent!

[Yell out] Joe! Dr. Joe, could you come in here now please?

[Joe comes in with his dog]

This is Calla Rose. Would we agree that Calla Rose is alive? What makes her alive?

[breathes, processes food, gives off waste, interacts with human beings, responds to her name]

[Have Joe give the dog an order or play with it. Then hold up plant.]

Can this plant do the things Calla Rose can do? What if I throw a ball and tell the plant to fetch – will it respond? Of course not. Is it alive? Of course it is, but it has a different KIND of life, doesn’t it? A plant is dead to the world of play.

Now what if I say to Calla Rose, "You know, I’m having trouble figuring out whether I should refinance my home - can you give me a hand?" How much help should I expect? None, right? Dogs are dead to the world of mathematics and abstract reasoning. What if I take Calla Rose to the Louve and show her the Mona Lisa? Will she appreciate what she’s seeing? No, because dogs are dead to the world of aesthetic beauty.

Put simply, human beings enjoy a different KIND of life than animals and plants. We are all alive, but we are not all alive in the same way, we do not all have the same KIND of life. You might say dogs have MORE life than plants, and human beings have MORE life than dogs, in a certain manner of thinking. Human beings are open and alive to more experiences than plants and animals.

Now I want to use a text I used last week, but let’s fill it in a little bit this time. Paul is describing the Christian life and says:

Romans 6:19-23 (MSG)

19 I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?

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Howard Kunder

commented on Sep 8, 2006

very good

Paul Giffin

commented on Nov 9, 2006

I really liked the illustrations in the sermon. I also liked the prayer at the conclusion. It's a great way to make an application

David Rees-Thomas

commented on Nov 26, 2006

Very practical and helpful. An important message that challenges those that walk in a spirit of unforgiveness.

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