Summary: This is the third of a five-message series on the importance of managing relationships with love and character. This sermon focuses on the importance of forgiveness.
We are in week three of our series No Wake Zone. We’re talking about how we can have healthy relationships, no wake zone relationships where we can have some rest and refreshment and encouragement inside relationships, since relationships are exceedingly difficult. Now, I’m just a guy. I don’t know how many of you grew up in middle Tennessee. I’ve been in middle Tennessee my whole life. I remember when the Wave Pool came to Nashville. Anybody here remember when the Wave Pool came to Nashville? Lowell, you remember that don’t you? I guarantee you did buddy. They’re off of Briley Parkway, for those of you who don’t know it.
That was the coolest thing when I was a kid. The Wave Pool was just IT. For fifteen or twenty minutes the waves were on. All the kids were running and screaming. If you’ve ever been there, they would have a buzzer that would go off and that would mean that the waves were about to stop. So, when the waves stopped, all the kids got out of the pool and the moms came to the pool and it was calm and they laid there on their floats and the kids all sat at the edge just waiting. Then the waves came on, it was right back in.
I couldn’t get into the Wave Pool until six because I went with my buddy and his mom. After six it was cheaper so we sat out from five thirty in the burning sun looking at the rich kids in there getting to experience the Wave Pool and wanting so much to be in there. But, I’m over that now. I’ve forgiven her of that, which we’re going to talk about today.
Here’s my point. I’m at the time of my life when I’m ready to come in out of the waves. I’m ready to relax, have some refreshment in my relationships. How do we build those kind of no wake zone kind of relationships? Let’s look today at this building block of forgiveness, which we set up for you with the video. I appreciate Mario Moreno. He gave me the Coast Guard hat. I wanted to wear that while we were shooting that in case I fell in, that they might come after me. I wish we could show you all the clips that we didn’t show. There were some really big waves that came in and my clothes...I mean, I sacrificed for you. I hope you understand that. I put my life on the line for you in that video and I’m not sensing that you get all that. It’s not about me is it? Okay.
Here we go. Forgiveness is one of those things that really breaks the wake, or the waves, and it creates no wake zone relationships. You can’t have a no wake zone relationship without forgiveness. We don’t really understand forgiveness. Let’s define biblical forgiveness here this morning. Forgiveness is this. Forgiveness is a decision to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they injured you. Let’s say that again. Forgiveness is a decision to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they injured you.
Let me just say, my good buddy Richard is down here on the front row. Richard always sits on the front. I love that. Let’s just say that, I don’t know, Richard made me mad today because he wasn’t taking good notes, or he fell asleep. Let’s just say I just grabbed a cup of water and just went and threw it all over Richard. That would be awkward, for starts, right? But it would be wrong. Could we all agree that’s wrong? You shouldn’t throw water on a church member on the front row. You shouldn’t do that. We would agree, right? I mean, that’s wrong. You don’t do that.
But now, Richard has a decision to make. He can stew, he can change his membership to another church and talk about me in the community and he can just deal with that. Or, he has a decision to release me from the obligation that resulted in the embarrassment. That would be embarrassing to him. He’s going to go into his small group with water all over him. There was a cost with that. There was a debt that that created. He could either keep that, internalize that, and carry that, or he can choose to release me from that. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Now look at this. Hang here with me for a few minutes because we have a lot of content today and this is very important. Let me just say, I know a lot of your stories and I know that many of you in this room have been hurt so, so badly in your life. After the last service somebody came up and talked to me. I’ve spent time, two years ago with them. It’s just some tragic, tragic stories that people have. I’ve been hurt and am hurt. There are people who say negative things or have done negative things to me. This is a real deal that we all face. Can I just say something today that helps me? I don’t know if it’ll help you. There’s not a person alive on the planet that can hurt you in a way that God can’t heal you. That’s the good news.