Summary: Forgiveness is easy depending on where you focus is Inward, Outward or Upward You can also listen to this message at www.preaching.co.nr (Sep 2008)
The Real Battle to Forgive
Ideally Forgiveness is instant, however in the real Christian world it can be a real battle to Forgive
Its easy to instantly Forgive the Stranger who bumps into you and says “sorry”
Forgiveness is a real battle when it is some you know, love & trust, Friend or Family
The Disappointment, Betrayal or whatever the offence IT HURTS MORE when caused by family or friends.
We expect to be LOVED, VALUED & TREATED WELL by family, friends and Church
When those expectations are not met it hurts more than when the stranger lets you down.
Often the hurt is due to Unreal Expectations about family life you can’t believe all you see on TV about the ideal loving family. Family life Involves Conflict
In Church life it is impossible to avoid hurt and conflict.
Often hurt is caused by Abused Expectations, maybe you have heard it said, “if there is love in this church why don’t you let me do what I want to do, or if you really love me you’ll have sex with me”, in other words the only way to make amends or please me is to give me what I want.
Forgiveness is all about what you do with the Hurt your can “Harbour it or Heal it” you can “Nurse it, Rehearse it or Curse it”
Winning or Losing in Battle to Forgive is dependant on where you fix your focus after being Hurt,
Greatest example of Forgiveness world has ever known, is when Jesus was on cross Looked Up & father Forgive them, Consider this in the Context…….. LK 23:34
When hurt our FOCUS will either be IN, OUT or UP
The Direction of Our Focus determines our Reaction/Response
If focus is Outward; Only See Offender, go every where with you, you’ll Rehearse it, you’ll be angry vengeful, and of course keep that import record of wrongs
If Focus is Inward; Only See our Pain, Nurse it becoming depressed, feeling victimised, unloved, withdrawn. Harbouring hurt give root to bitterness
If Focus is Upward; Jesus could have looked OUT got angry called Angels, or Inward and said its not fair I done no wrong why should I get the cross I am off, He looked UP for God’s greater purpose & will to be done
As christians we have power to look up, believe God has a Greater Purpose, Bring Good out of this.
Reasons not to Forgive
The real Battle to Forgive is with ourselves more than with the offender. During our INWARD & OUTWARD moments we finds Reasons not to Forgive
Self Justice…I have done nothing wrong, nor did Jesus, whole point of Forgiveness the offend Forgives offender,
Pride, … I am Christian, elder, pastor, 25 year a Christian what will people think, I not am wrong.
Greater offence / violated …. Never been so offend can just let it go
Waiting for vengeance … don’t say it like that God won’t bless them
They have got away with it.
Reasons to Forgive,
1. We Hurt our relationship with God brings Blocks between us & God Eph 4:29ff
2. We Hurt ourselves Damages my well being physical, psychological spiritual Lower blood pressure Stress reduction Less hostility Better anger management skills Lower heart rate Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse