FIGHT TO FORGIVE
Sermon Verse: Matthew 18:21-33
Have we ever noticed that the things that kill us spiritually almost never come at us directly? Nearly every time we have these encounters it is always in the form of something that looks like it will benefit us. Just like poison slowly seeps in and kills, the same can be said for unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness in our hearts is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. When we harbor things in our heart and in our souls, we begin to build a prison in our hearts. The thing is, we truly believe that this is protecting ourselves. In an effort to protect ourselves we begging to build a prison for us to live in alone and isolated.
There are these things that happen to us in our life that we let play over and over again as if it is a dress rehearsal, but not the actual play. When we build this prison around ourselves emotionally and hold in such unforgiveness, it is like running a non-stop dress rehearsal over every situation you encounter. What we rehearse in our head and what we decide to put on as a follower of Christ is creating the world that we live in. That is why the Bible tells us to shed the old garments and to put on the new garments of Christ.
What we start projecting into our heads is what we start to see in our world. See there is a fight going on: it's call the fight to forgive. There is a fight going on over and over in our lives to fight to forgive the wounds, the hurts, the habits and the hang-ups. There is a fight to forgive ourselves. There is a fight to forgive others.
See the greatest fight in the world that ever took place was Jesus dying on a cross to forgive us! Jesus was on the cross literally fight to forgive us of our sins so there would be no more condemnation, no more Unforgiveness, pain, hurt and sorrow. See the devil thought that he was winning by putting the Messiah on the cross, but Jesus kept fighting because he knew the key to unlock humanity was FORGIVENESS.
We are never more like God than when we choose to let go of the hurt and the wounds to forgive people. We may not be able to trust them, but we will be able to forgive them and that is truly acting like Jesus.
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it is not a feeling and it is not something that is deserved. Forgiveness is not easy. Forgiveness is a choice over and over again.
How do we find the strength to forgiveness? Because unforgiveness almost always turns into gossip. And once that starts the things that start to follow are envy, jealousy and other sins of the flesh.
However, in Matthew 18, we see a servant has a debt that he cannot repay. The master looks at him and takes pity on him. He shows his servant compassion and unending love by granting him a forgiveness that he did not earn or deserve so he could walk in freedom in his life.
Is this not a picture of what God has done for us? Have we not been so forgiven of all the wrongs we've done? If this is the mindset we choose to believe, we must fight to forgive! The important thing to remember is that it is not something we need to do on our own, but it is Christ in us that gives us the strength to forgive and the endurance to fight for it.
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