Sermons

Summary: What happens when we do not forgive

The Weight of Unforgiveness

Matthew 6:9-15

Colossians 3:12-14

June 25, 2006

You either love him or you just can’t stand him? To some people, he’s arrogant and pompous; for others, they want to be just like him. The one thing most people agree on is this one point ~ nobody wants his hairstyle. Any ideas who I am talking about?

It’s ‘THE DONALD’ . . . not duck, but Trump. I don’t know about you, but I have to admit, one of my favorite television programs is THE APPRENTICE. I know, it’s really a self-promoting, pretty ridiculous program. I guess that’s why I like it. Actually, I like it because it is a great study of human behavior. It shows us how people react when their backs are against the wall, how people can show loyalty, or stab you in the back, all in the matter of seconds.

Well, one night, Debbie and I were watching, and these three young women ended up in the board room, where ‘one will be fired.’ I am going to show you a short video clip of a scene in the boardroom. The woman in the middle, Tammy, was the project manager of the losing team, and usually the project manager gets fired. These three women had really bonded, but now they are fighting for their survival, and frankly, Tammy does not like the fact that she is being picked on. So . . . let’s watch and learn from The Donald, on how to treat people who pick on us.

SHOW VIDEO CLIP

Did you hear what Donald Trump said? He said he HATES PEOPLE! And not only does he hate people, but he hates them for the rest of his life.

He said, “it’s probably wrong . . . but, I hate people.” I need to tell you, it’s not probably wrong, it IS wrong. To top it off, Donald said, “I never recover from it.”

WOW!! What an admission. Gee, it really makes me want to be more like Donald. And did you notice the laughter from Tammy when Donald repeated, “I hate people.” That’s not worth laughing at, it’s worth crying over.

For the past 5 weeks we have been talking about the impact of anger in our lives and what it means to forgive. Today ends our time talking about forgiveness, and the impact when we will not forgive. Because, as I have said, forgiveness is a choice. It’s not a feeling, it’s a choice which we always have control over; otherwise, those we need to forgive will forever have power over us, and it will weigh us down and eat at us forever.

For the last couple of weeks I have been referring to these two passages, and today I want to unpack fully what Jesus and Paul are saying. I really think we miss the point of what Jesus is getting at in the Lord’s Prayer when He talks about forgiveness. In fact, what Jesus has to say about forgiveness is so important that he unpacks it even more in verse 14.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” On the surface it sounds pretty basic, Lord, forgive us, and we will forgive others! End of story. But, in all of His genius, Jesus wants us to go a step further. He wants us to look deep, really deep into ourselves and fully grasp what kind of forgiveness He is talking about.

When we hear this phrase, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” . . . This is what I really believe Jesus wants from us . . . and I am going to say this passage in the Deutsch Version of the Bible ~

Jesus, I want you to forgive me in the exact

same way I forgive those who hurt me.

Have you ever thought about forgiveness in those terms? It’s radical, and it’s Jesus’ way.

Repeat this verse, “Forgive me of my sins, just as I forgive those who sin against me.”

Aren’t we telling Jesus, Jesus I want you to forgive me, but don’t do me any special favors, just forgive me of my sins, in the same way that I forgive those who sin against me?

It takes unforgiveness and forgiveness to new and greater heights and depths. You see, if you and I refuse to forgive someone, then we are essentially saying to God, don’t forgive me either. I don’t think we want to say that to our God, do we?

That is why Jesus gave us that haunting statement immediately after the Lord’s Prayer. He tells us in Matthew 6:14-15, “14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

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