Let Them Go
What are some of the hard things you have had to deal with in your life?
Big Idea: Followers of Jesus forgive others regularly
· CS Lewis - Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.
Scripture: Matthew 6:9-14 NIV – ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, s but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
What does it mean to forgive?
· To release the person who has offended you. To cancel the debt.
o Romans 12:18-19 NIV – 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
What happens when we harbor unforgiveness?
· Stress, anger, lack of sleep, suffering, replaying over and over what someone has done, bitterness, resentment, even sickness.
Why do we forgive?
· Jesus forgave us of everything – past, present, and future
o Hebrews 8:12 NIV – 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
· Forgiveness is a command…not a suggestion.
o Matthew 6:14-15 – If we want to be forgiven by God…we forgive.
· Jesus modeled forgiveness for us (on the cross)
o Luke 23:34 NLT – 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
What happens when we forgive?
· We have freedom to move on
o Forgiveness is the only way to severe the suffering (Lysa Terkeurst)
· We move toward healing
o Psalm 147:3 NLT – 3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
· Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation
o Forgiveness is a command, reconciliation is encouraged as it is possible.
§ Romans 12:18 NIV - 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
o Forgiveness is unlimited and unconditional
§ Matthew 18:21-22 NLT – 21 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!
o Reconciliation is limited and conditional
§ Matthew 18:15-17 NLT – 15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
How do we forgive those who have hurt us?
· Remember how much we have been forgiven
· Rely on the grace of Christ to help us let go of disappointments
· Think through the consequences of not forgiving others
What challenges are you in the area of unforgiveness?
· Ephesians 4:32 NLT – 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
o Memorize: Ephesians 4:32 NIV
o Evaluate: Am I harboring unforgiveness toward anyone?
o Action: Write down how you have been offended, choose to forgive the person who caused the offense, then shred it.