Summary: “I will forgive-but I will not forget” is a well worn out phrase some people often use. Even the smallest of offenses can cause someone to carry a grudge against another person.
“WILL YOU FORGIVE?”
Open with the Lords Prayer
“I will forgive-but I will not forget” is a well worn out phrase some people often use. Even the smallest of offenses can cause someone to carry a grudge against another person. The Lord’s Prayer is repeated by some with all most no thought to the intensity of those words spoken in the prayer.
I want to focus on the part of that prayer that says …
“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Take for a second and think of the gravity of those words you just spoke in prayer. Repeat those words quietly to yourself this time.
When you ask God to forgive you of your sins and mistakes I am sure you are being sincere. However it seems that we mumble and quickly speed up when we get to the line right after that says, “We FORGIVE those who trespass against us.”
“FORGIVE” That is a six-letter word that some have problems with. I looked up the word to really get a good grasp on its meaning and this is what I found:
1. Stop being angry about something: to stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody’s behavior
2. Pardon: to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or an inappropriateness
3. Cancel obligation: such as a debt
Pardon, excuse, forgive and forget, let off, absolve, exonerate
Some of you here today can say to me;
· “Mil you do not know how such and such treated me.”
· “You just don’t know the terrible things they said about me behind my back”
· “What that person did to me was uncalled for, I did nothing to them”
Do those words sound familiar? Have you said something like this at one time or another?
"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
Be honest. When some one has said or done something to you, haven’t you maybe tried to devise a way to get even with that person?
Well when we attempt to “get even” this is where the enemy gets a major foothold to create havoc in your life.
When someone does or says hurtful things we have a tendency to talk to others about how some one just did us in. Actually what we are doing is trying to get others to also turn against the person who did the offense. “Misery loves company” as the saying goes.
A part of Proverbs 6 talks about the things that God hates and a part of the verse says:
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil
So in our heart we devise “wicked plans”. Stories of an offense can stretch to gigantic proportions.
Once I saw a mouse and this mouse was climbing the side of this shelf. Well when I went to relay this episode to my Pastor, instead of describing by my hand a mouse of 2-3 inches long. I stretched my hands wide to describe a Godzilla mouse. Kind of like the fish story. Whenever a fisherman tells his story of either his catch or loses of the fish, it always grows in size. Before you know it seems like the fisherman caught Moby Dick out of little stream.
Offenses are like fish stories; they can grow to a Moby Dick proportion. Even if you don’t stretch the facts of the story, the person you just told it to will either add or delete a detail to it.
I remember as a child when I was in grade school, the teacher would set us all in a circle and she would whisper a short story line into the first kids ear, some thing like:
“The purple pig wearing a polka dotted tutu, ate tomatoes in a yellow airplane while flying to Hawaii.”
Now you can almost imagine what that story turned out to be by the time it got to the last child in that circle. Most likely the color of the pig had changed, and it probably was eating a peanut butter sandwich while wearing an eagles jersey or something like that.
I look at anger like an octopus, it has many tentacles. Let me show you what grows from anger.
Lack of trust
Hardness of heart
And this is just naming only a few.
Anger can and will mess with your health:
High blood pressure
For those who have made a commitment to having Jesus Christ as your Savior let me read to you what Colossians 3 says about putting aside things like anger:
The Message Version:
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.