100% ForgivenessMarch 7, 2021 / Psalms 3:
When reading the Davidic Psalms you witness the raw emotion of a man who felt betrayal, the sting of remorse for family separation, and then you read about a man that laid his burden down at the altar of God. (You can’t beat unforgiveness by yourself)
TEXT: Psalm 3-Family Dysfunction
ILLUS.: If I was the surgeon general of the United States of America. I would declare a national emergency. I would immediately begin to convene meetings in all of the national stadiums across America.
I would address the subject of unforgiveness.
I believe unforgiveness is a national medical emergency causing intensive long-term medical and spiritual sickness. -It is in Epidemic Proportions.
Those closest to you can hurt you the most. Proverbs 27:6
We struggle with the need for people to feel the pain we feel.
Some will even quote the Old Testament: “An eye for an eye.”
-Some will ask God for direction: You feel the Lord speak to you, The Bible says…“They Shall Lay hands on the sick….” God I know they are sick.
In fact, it is a very Southern thing to defend one’s honor. In the South we like to speak our emotions through idioms:
- “Bless your little heart.” -They are not feeling sorry for you, they think you’re really stupid.
- “I have three speeds: on, off, and don’t push your luck.”
- “If I have to hurt you, they will never find your body.”
- “You better give your heart to Jesus, because your butt is mine.”
It is a very human emotion to want to hurt others who hurt us.
However, it is not a Godly emotion. It is a temptation.
Q-Do we prefer peace or bitterness?
-When we are bitter, we delude ourselves into thinking that revenge will fulfill our need for vindication.
We discussed 3 points last week.
- Do not let anyone know what someone said or did to you.
- Do not let anyone be intimidated by you.
- Forgiveness is a lifelong commitment.
The premise of Total Forgiveness: We must totally forgive them, and then we will be set free.”
Full Forgiveness– Total cessation of negative feelings, and the relationship are fully restored.
-We all have a story to tell.
-When we are grieved for our heart, when we pursue reconciliation, when we pray for restoration=Peace will emerge in the heart.
ULTIMATE PROOF OF TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS TO LET THOSE OFF THE HOOK WHO HAVE HURT US, AND WHO HAVE HURT THOSE CLOSE TO US.
-This means: They won’t get caught or found out.
-Nobody will ever know what they did.
-They will prosper and be blessed as if they had done nothing.
Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion. Your emotions do not determine whether or not you are forgiven. Your emotions do not determine whether or not you forgive. II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 3:13
WHEN SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT GRIEVANCES?
– Total forgiveness does not mean closing your eyes to those who would hurt others.
-Most of the forgiveness issues deal with small grievances.
Legal issues notwithstanding.
Bible says: “Little foxes that spoil the vine.”
-When we are personally offended, we generally remove ourselves from the need to remove the speck from our eye. We focus on the other person’s eye.
- WHAT TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS NOT.
- Forgiveness is not APPROVAL for what they did.
God never approves of our sin.
God was angry with our first parents, Adam and Eve.
-How long did it take for the first family disruption to happen?
-Jesus forgave the woman who was caught in adultery.
-He told her to leave her sin behind. (John 8:11)
POINT: We can forgive what we don’t approve of because that is what Jesus did for us.
WE UNDERSTAND TRUST IS EARNED, NOT GRANTED.
- Forgiveness is not EXCUSING what they did.
-We do not cover for the sins of people.
-We do not explain away their behavior.
POINT: Forgiving people does not imply an endorsement of their deeds.”
-Moses complained to God because the people were complaining to him: God offered to wipe the people out.
–Moses rejected God’s offer and prayed this prayer: Numbers 14:19
- Forgiveness is not JUSTIFYING what they did.
You can’t make it right or make it just. You can’t make something right that is wrong. God doesn’t expect us to call something wrong…right.
- Forgiveness is not PARDONING what they did.
Pardon: A legal transaction that releases the offender from the consequences of their action.
-Once you forgive, you can release the grievance holder for their actions, the consequences are up to God, and
-Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing.
-Reconciliation requires 2 people.
-Forgiveness requires 1 person.
-Sometimes people pass away before reconciliation or restitution actually occurs.
-There are times reconciliation is impossible because of the nature of the situation or the time that has gone by.
-Some things can never be the same. (TIME CHANGES PEOPLE)
ILLUS.: Hospital – Man cussed me out.
- Forgiveness is not DENYING what they did.
-Repression or suppression of an offense is almost always unconscious. Some live in constant denial.
-Repression does not remove the wound.
-“He has a good heart.”….No, his heart is wicked.”
ILLUS.: Liberty. Charles step-father.
-True forgiveness comes when we deal with the reality of the pain.
- Forgiveness is not BLINDNESS to what happened.
-Some believe that forgiveness is turning a blind eye to what happened.
-Willful blindness is much different from repression.
-Blindness is often conscious while repression is often unconscious.
-Both are wrong and psychologically damaging.
-I Corinthians 13:5
-We understand it happened. We do not pretend it didn’t happen. However, we understand that we do not record the incident for future animosity.
- Forgiveness is not FORGETTING.
-Forgetting is often unrealistic.
-Only God has that capability.
-An Accident or Trauma can cause people to forget.
-God’s grace allows us to fully see it, remember it, and choose to forgive.
-It is a demonstration of greater grace.
- Forgiveness is not REFUSING to take the wrong seriously.
-We must see the offense clearly, so we can understand its’ seriousness.
-Some think we should pass it off as inconsequential or insignificant.
-God chooses to see us for what we are, and He chooses to forgive us for the way we are.
- Forgiveness is not PRETENDING we are not hurt.
-It’s normal to say I’m hurt.
-Jesus had to understand the full pain of the hurt.
- WHAT IS TOTAL FORGIVENESS?
- TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS: Being aware of what someone has done and still forgiving them.
Total forgiveness is not being oblivious to what an offender did. It is not covering it up, excusing it, or refusing to acknowledge what happened. Some people choose to live in denial as a way of dealing with pain, but sooner or later the grieving person must come to terms with reality.
Evading true forgiveness does not bring any measured amount of spiritual victory. Sometimes a person will postpose recognizing the TRUE OFFENSE in order to keep from experiencing the pain. ILLUS.: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
True forgiveness is achieved when we acknowledged what was done without any cover up-and still refuse to make the offender pay for their crime.
True forgiveness is painful, it hurts when we kiss revenge goodbye. However, when we accept what was done, and accept in our hearts that they will be blessed……we cross over into a supernatural realm.
- TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS: Choosing to keep no record of wrongs. “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”
Why do we keep track of offenses? We do it to use it against down the road. To prove what happened.
People say, “I’ll remember that..” and they do.
People say: “I will never forget this…” They don’t.
-Many marriages could be healed overnight if both parties would stop pointing the finger. Blaming others has been a common problem throughout history.
-God blesses the one who does away with the finger-pointing.
LOVE IS A CHOICE. TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE.
It is a choice to tear up the record of wrongs that we have been keeping. We clearly see and acknowledge what was done to us…but we erase the record….
before it becomes lodged into our hearts.
It is something we must practice all the time to keep the bitterness out of our hearts.
- TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS: Refusing to punish.
Giving up the natural desire to see them “get what’s coming to them” is the essence of total forgiveness. Our human nature struggles with the thought that someone who hurt us so deeply would get away with what they have done!
IT SEEMS SO UNFAIR! WE WANT VENGEANCE. I John 4:18
Total forgiveness is refusing to punish. You choose to not give in to the fear that those people will not get their comeuppance.
God’s word plainly says, “Revenge is mine. I will repay.” God doesn’t want or need our help. God is very skilled at vindication. If punishment is a motive, then we will come very close to grieving the Holy Spirit. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you were sealed until the day of redemption.”
- TOTAL FORGIVENESS IS: Not telling what they did.
There is often the need to talk about an incident when you have been hurt. This can be cathodic and somewhat therapeutic if it is done with the right heart trying to move forward.
ILLUS.: Someone who will help you move forward rather than live in the cesspool of unforgiveness.
-Anyone who truly forgives does not gossip about his or her offender. Most people do not talk about what happened for therapeutic reasons, but rather to keep our offender from being admired. We divulge what that person did so others will think less of them-This is an attempt to punish and ultimately usurp God’s authority.
When I recall how I have been forgiven, I remember:
- I won’t be punished for my sins.
- No one knows about my sins, because they are under the blood of Jesus Christ, and they will not be exposed or help against me.
When I blurt out what someone has done to me, I am apparently forgetting that God will not tell what I did to Him. He has forgiven me of much. Examining our motives becomes necessary. WHY am I speaking about this, again? Why am I rehearsing this, again?
- WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T FORGIVE?
Matthew 6:12,14-15-The Lord’s prayer.
-What happens when we don’t forgive?
-We are saved by grace alone, but there are consequences if we choose to walk in unforgiveness. Some aspects of our relationship with God are interchangeable, but others are affected by the things we do.
- Salvation is unconditionally received; fellowship with the Father is conditional.
When we are justified before God, we are declared righteous. That comes by faith. We confess, confession is made unto salvation. Anyone who transfers the trust that he or she had in their good works- and trusts what Jesus did on the cross is credited by God with perfect righteousness.
Fellowship with God on the way to heaven is conditional. Unconfessed sin including unforgiveness -can block our fellowship with the Father.
- Justification before God is unconditional; the anointing of the Spirit is conditional.
Our standing before God is complete in Christ. The power of the Spirit of God can ebb and flow depending on our ability to forgive.
-When people have unforgiveness, it reduces their ability to pray, seek God, believe God, and be used of God.
-I know people who are out of the church because of unforgiveness. I know people who are not reading their Bibles because of unforgiveness.
- Our status in God’s family is unconditional when it comes to salvation. Our intimacy with Christ is conditional.
We are sons and daughters of the most-high God once we are adopted into God’s family. In eternity past, God pre-determined that we would be adopted into God’s family. However, the closeness with Christ is conditional.
-We reap what we sow. Discord, disunity, division, discontent, all contribute to an inability to
- Our eternal destiny based on our desire to accept or deny Christ is already fixed, but our rewards are conditional.
- THE VALUE OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
The fruit of the Spirit produces the right growing conditions for spiritual gifts.
Trees that are filled with fruit are attractive. They have all the birds; they have all the bees…they are alive with life.
Trees without fruit usually are weak, they are dry, brittle, they have a lot of parasites eating the tree. It is so unhealthy that it is defenseless.
Jesus knows our fruit. When your roots are good you produce happiness, joy, peace, love, acceptance, kindness.
Jesus said, “A good tree will not produce corrupt fruit.”
When the roots are bad, we produce anger, irritableness, discomfort, a lack of confidence.
Jesus is the vinedresser…John 15…“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He [a]takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” He prunes and he cuts away.
Pride and ego will hinder your ability to forgive.
Dallas Willard said, “The only thing we give God when we get to heaven in the man or woman of God that we have become.”
Without forgiveness, you will never have the fruit of the Spirit, and without the fruit of the Spirit, you will never have the anointing of God or the gifts of the Spirit.