Summary: Often our scars serve as mile-markers in our lives. Other scars are hidden from human view. Scars from verbal or physical abuse, divorce, traumatic losses, betrayals by those you loved. They don't escape the Master's gaze. He wants to heal them.
1. In a lot of ways, adults are like kids; we make mistakes and sometimes get hurt.
2. A young boy, Jayden, came into the house covered with mud after finishing a rough day of play. "Mom," he shouted at the top of his voice, "if I fell out of a tree, would you rather I broke a leg or tore my pants?"
3. "That’s a silly question," his mom answered from the next room. "I'd rather you tore your pants!"
4. "Well, I've got good news for you then," Jayden said triumphantly. "That's exactly what happened!"
1. Scars were painful at the time; now are memories. My scars serve as mile-markers in my life.
2. One thumb. When I was about eight, I was using a large hand saw when it jumped from the groove and sawed partway through my thumb.
3. Scars on my knees. When I was a teenager, I had a motorcycle wreck in the high school parking lot.
4. Many of us have permanent marks on the landscape of our lives from accidents, cuts, and wrecks.
5. Other scars are hidden from human view. Scars from verbal or physical abuse, divorce, traumatic losses, betrayals by those you loved. But those scars don't escape the Master's sight. Jesus sees them and knows all about them.
C. THERE’S AN URGENT NEED OF FORGIVENESS…
1. At the workplace, in the family, at Church. Those you trust can/ will betray you.
2. Psalm 41:7-9, “All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 8 “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” 9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”
3. Yet we’re COMMANDED TO FORGIVE THEM. People respond to this command:
a. “Forgive him/her? After what he’s done to me? I could never forgive him/her!”
b. “Forgive me? How could God forgive me? After all the terrible things I’ve done”
c. “She ruined my life! I can’t stand to think of her, let alone forgive her! Just to drive near her house makes my stomach sick.”
Since forgiveness is a command and is difficult, we’re going to look at 3 aspects of forgiveness:
a. Forgiveness as Necessary;
b. What forgiveness is NOT;
c. 4 Steps on ‘How to Forgive.’
I. NECESSITY OF FORGIVENESS
A. WHO UNFORGIVENESS HURTS
People harbor unforgiveness because they like the idea that the offender knows they’re angry at them, but the main person who is hurt is you. Why?
1. YOU CAN’T WALK WITH CHRIST OR BE A CHRISTIAN IF YOU HARBOR UNFORGIVENESS
a. Unforgiveness, if harbored, keeps you from following through on the specifics of Christian life! It makes you walk in the flesh rather than the Holy Spirit.
b. When Leonardo Da Vinci was painting the "Last Supper," he had a violent argument with a fellow painter. Leonardo was so angry that he decided to paint the face of the artist into the face of Judas, and thus take his revenge.
c. But when he came to paint the face of Christ, he could make no progress. Something seemed to be baffle him and frustrate his best efforts.
d. Finally he came to the conclusion that the hindrance was his unforgiveness to the other artist, painting his face onto the face of Judas. He decided to forgive and not take revenge.
e. As soon as he painted out the face of Judas, then he was able to paint the face of Jesus with such realism that it stands acclaimed even today! Negative emotions will hinder Jesus’ image in us!
2. YOUR RESENTMENT, ETC., SPILLS OVER INTO OTHER RELATIONSHIPS
a. I remember when I was a kid and my mother would get mad at one of my siblings (she wasn’t a Christian at that time). After she got finished straightening them out – if I was sitting around smiling – she’d say, “What are you looking at? Do you want to get in on the trouble?” POINT: anger can spill over.
b. Another example is STRESS. When you get stressed out at work it’s easy to bring that stress home and over-react toward your kids or your spouse.
c. In the same way, you may THINK your unforgiveness won’t affect your family, but it will. The habit of cutting off mercy or grace toward one person can be easily transmitted to another person, even without our being aware of it.
3. IT DEVELOPS INTO BITTERNESS
a. Heb. 12:15, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
b. In Gen. 4:3-8, Cain developed a root of bitterness. Instead of doing what was right, he became resentful toward Abel because his offering was accepted by God. Resentment started small but grew. It became hate and he became the first murderer.