Summary: The third pillar, which we are going to look at today, is forgiveness
INTRO: It’s an amazing thing when you get your eyes off yourself. Do you know what happens?
-You can see the world around you, all of a sudden there’s life and beauty that you didn’t notice before.
It’s the same in relationships. When you get your eyes off yourself you will have deeper, more fulfilling and meaningful relationships.
I trust this series on relationship builders has caused you to stop and reflect on how you are being a friend to others.
Review our diagram
Healthy Relationships Serving Loyalty Forgiveness
Serving (Pillar 1). We got a glimpse of the Lord’s life, in the last few hours. The scene showed his disciples bickering about who would be the greatest while Judas was out making a deal with the devil to turn the Lord over to the religious establishment.
-The Lord did something amazing. He began to wash their feet, something no one else wanted to do. That is truly serving.
Loyalty (Pillar 2). We looked at the man Uriah who was loyal to his soldiers, his country, God, and the king. We learned loyalty will cost you something, it may cost you your life, but it will be remembered.
The third pillar, which we are going to look at today, is forgiveness.
TITLE: Relationship Builders
TEXT: Matthew 18:21-22
Thoughts on forgiveness:
-Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me.
-We are most like beasts when we kill. We are most like men when we judge. We are most like God when we forgive.
-Once President Lincoln was asked how he was going to treat the rebellious Southerners when they had finally been defeated and returned to the union of the United States. The questioner expected that Lincoln would take a dire vengeance, but he answered, "I will treat them as if they had never been away."
I. Peter’s question. Peter questioned Jesus, "How many times do I forgive someone?"
A. Peter’s mistakes. In Peter’s questioning we see some errors in his way of thinking.
1.To begin with, he lacked humility. He was sure his brother would sin against him, but not he against his brother.
-When you draw a line in the sand, don’t be surprised when you’re the one who steps over the line.
2.His second mistake was asking for limits and measures.
Point: Where there is love, there can be no limits or dimensions.
B. Peter thought he was showing great faith and love when he offered to forgive at least seven times.
1.Rabbis taught that three times was sufficient, after that you don’t have to forgive.
2.Jesus blows Peter’s mind-77 times (NIV), literally 490 times.
-How in the world could you keep track of such a number!
Point: That is the point Jesus is making. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
3.But, Pastor, you don’t know what they’ve done to me.
1.When you don’t forgive, you are setting yourself up as judge and jury and you start to view those who hurt you as your enemy.
2.Somehow when they’re your enemy it is a bit easier to justify your right to dwell on how they hurt you.
3.I would like to mention just as there are physical laws (law of gravity) there are spiritual laws.
-Spiritual law in regard to forgiveness.
a.The Lord’s prayer. Luke 11:4a, "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us."
-We are asking the Lord to forgive us as we forgive others.
b.Matthew gives us a spiritual law in 6:14-15, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Thought: If we break these spiritual laws there are consequences to pay.
II. Consequences of unforgiveness.
A. Parable of the unmerciful servant. The king wanted to settle accounts so he called in his servants.
1. A man was brought in who owed 10,000 talents.
-A talent was a unit of measure equivalent to 75 pounds. 10,000 talents would be about 750,000 pounds or 375 tons. So the servant owed the king 375 tons of gold or silver. (for argument’s sake—gold)
-A talent of gold is 450,000 dollars; 10,000 talents of gold is 4.5 billion dollars. Point: Jesus’ point is that the servant could not pay this huge debt.
2.Result: This man and his family were hauled off to prison and everything he owned was to be sold to repay the debt. (this is important—v. 25)
3.The man cries out for mercy. The king listens and forgives the 4.5 billion dollar debt owed.
-So the servant goes on his way and he meets up with someone who owed him a hundred denarii. (A denarii was approximately equal to a laborer’s daily wage. 10 x 8 = 80 dollars x 100 comes out to 8,000 dollars.)