Forgive – Let It Go! (part 1)
November 5, 2023
Forgive – Let It Go! (part 1)
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” (22) “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! (23) “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. (24) In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. (25) He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. (26) “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ (27) Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. (28) “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. (29) “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. (30) But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
(31) “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. (32) Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. (33) Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ (34) Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. (35) “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
We are living in a really tense time. Emotions are raw. People are on edge.
This time just prior to Jesus’ return is a relationship stressor!
Matthew 24:5-13 (NKJV)
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Matthew 24:10-13 (CEV)
Many will give up and will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and fool a lot of people. 12 Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others. 13 But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved.
Matthew 24:10-13 (NCV)
At that time, many will lose their faith, and they will turn against each other and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and cause many people to believe lies. 12 There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other. 13 But those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:10-13 (MSG)
And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.
11 In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. 12 For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
13 Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.
Matthew 10:34-39 (NKJV)
Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
In this environment, we must constantly walk in love and practice forgiveness.
There will never be a time in your life that you will NOT have to exercise forgiveness towards someone!
Mark 11:25-26 (AMPC)
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
To forgive, to cease to feel resentment against on account of wrong committed; to give up claim of requital from or retribution upon an offender.
What happens in life is not as important as how I deal with it!
Is there anyone right now that I hold a grudge or ill-will against?
Are there any open-ended relationships in my life? That is, there is a “rift” between me and the other person and have I done “due diligence” in seeking to work out the problem?
What does unforgiveness do to me?
1. Hinders my relationship with Jesus
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV)
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NLT)
Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. 2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
John 9:31 (NLT)
We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.
Mark 11:26 (AMPC)
26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
2. Produces judgments and wrong expectations of others
A Boomerang effect – What I fail to forgive affects ME the most!
Luke 6:37-38 (AMPC)
Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released. 38 Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.
Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)
Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Romans 2:1 (AMPC)
THEREFORE YOU have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]
* Bitter Root Judgments –
you expect the same thing that happens in one relationship to happen in another. Causes a sour attitude towards the offender and eventually spills over into other relationships.
* Bitter Root Expectations –
You look for others to do to you what the offender has done. or you expect the offender to repeat the offense over and over.
Example from my own life…
Friend when I was young…3 pm – store by the railroad tracks.
3. Places undue stress on your body and affects health
Proverbs 14:30 – NLT
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 -Amplified
A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 – Amplified
Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Dakes Reference Bible note:
A merry heart is healthful, but one completely broken in spirit and dejected will develop many physical illnesses. Nothing ruins health more than grief, continual worry, anxiety, fretfulness, bad tempers, hatred, and malice. The end of these things is death. We should rid ourselves of of such health destroying agencies.
(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)
Quote from Who Switched Off My Brain…
Who Switched Off My Brain By Dr. Caroline Leaf (South Africa, Switch on Your Brain Organisation PTY, 2007) pages 4-5.
Your brain can be compared to a prolific factory producing a variety of chemicals depending on what type of emotion you are experiencing. Depending on whether or not these emotions are toxic to your body, the chemicals will either help you or harm you. If they are harmful, they create conditions for a host of health problems that will manifest in both the body and the mind. Emotions that regularly release a torrent of destructive chemicals that will be the most damaging over time are: unforgiveness, anger, rage, resentment, depression, worry, anxiety, frustration, fear, excessive grief and guilt.
Research shows that around 87% of illnesses can be attributed to our thought life, and approximately 13% to diet, genetics and environment.
Studies conclusively link more chronic diseases (also known as lifestyle diseases) to an epidemic of toxic emotions in our culture. These toxic emotions can cause migraines, hypertension, strokes, cancer, skin problems, diabetes, infections and allergies, just to name a few.
Studies also point to a direct correlation between anxiety/fear and heart palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches and heart problems.
Quite simply, there is no longer any doubt that what and how you think affect your emotional and physical state. The mind and body are integrally connected.
Another way to say this is that unforgiveness affects every part of my life.
It affect my relationship with God.
It affects my relationship with others.
It affects me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Signs of the need to forgive:
* Underlying anger in general
* Lack of trust
* Emotional numbness
6 major problems that failure to forgive produces.
* Self-inflicted injury
* No more love
* Perpetual conflict
* Walls that keep others out
1. Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
2. Are there bitter root judgements and bitter root expectations in your life from the past that affect your current relationships?
3. Is chronic illness a problem? Failure to forgive produces inward pressure making us vulnerable to illness.
4. Are you willing to forgive each person that in any way harmed your life?