Summary: A sermon on unforgiveness, revenge and bitterness and how they destroy the human heart.

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INTRO Notice the word as in verse 12

We are praying that God will treat us like we treat others

Former President Gerald Ford, in his book, "A Time to Heal", focused on the confusing and tragic twilight of the Nixon presidency. Clearly, Nixon was guilty of a cover-up in the Watergate case, but he refused to admit it. His pride kept him from doing so. If he had been willing to confess his guilt and ask the American people for forgiveness, he would probably have received it.

President Ford then faced a grievous dilemma, Should he let the legal charges run their course and allow Nixon to be indicted and tried? Should he pardon him? If he decided on justice, the process would probably have taken years and would have blotted out everything else in the country until it was over. He therefore decided to pardon the former president, feeling it was the best for the nation.

He explained his decision: "America needed recovery, not revenge. The hate had to be drained and the healing begun."

* I proclaim to some here today

* It's time for hate to be drained

* And time for healing to begin

* We all at one time or another face the choice...

o Revenge or Recovery

* People hurt us

o Wrong us

o Offend us

o Lie about us

o Abuse us

o Mistreat us

o Leave us

* Because of sinful nature

* It becomes a natural response to become...




* The world is full of broken relationships...

...wounded spirits

...unresolved issues

* People who have been truly hurt

* And never forgive that person

* The unforgiveness grows into bitterness and hatred

* Hatred is one of the most destructive forces in life

o It's like cancer

o It tears down emotions

o It destroys your true personality

o It's poison to the body

o It not only destroys others

o But also destroys you

Shakespeare: "Heat not the furnace so hot that

you singe yourself."

Matthew 18:21-35

 We've talked a lot about Peter lately

 Honestly, if it wasn't for Peter...

 I wouldn't have scripture for half my issues

 "And Peter"

 Here he asked a question that I am grateful for

 Because I had been wronged

 And needed God's counsel on how to forgive

 The question is not if people will do you wrong

 The question is how will you respond

 Peter wants to know:

1. How many times do I have to forgive someone before I get revenge

 I believe Peter had an anger problem

 Peter chose 7 because

 The Jewish law required you forgive someone 3 times

 So Peter doubled that and added one as a bonus!

 He thought he had a bargain!

 Peter's issue here is not if he'll forgive the person

 He just doesn't want to over forgive

 Jesus is not giving a math lesson here

 Nor is He giving you a number chart to check off your forgiveness to offenses

 70x7 -- every time is like the first time

 490 1xweek -- take 9 ½ years

 To illustrate this Jesus gives a parable:

 I want to break it down into three points:

1. A Debt

2. A Deal

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