Luke 17:1-6

Introduction:  While we celebrate our freedom as Americans, there is an inner freedom from the power of offenses in our lives.

Big Idea:  Experiencing and Extending forgiveness will result in a free flow of God’s goodness, love, and mercy in our lives.

Two Dimensions of Forgiveness

#1. There is a forgiveness that we receive.  (Micah 7:19, Psalm 103:12)

  • Part of becoming unoffendable is focusing on the forgiveness I have received.

#2.  Extending Forgiveness. (Luke 17:4)

Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

  • When we get wounded, our natural response is:  revenge.
  • Offenses WILL happen.  How will we respond?
  • A wise option:  OVERLOOK the offense. (Proverbs 19:11).

Living unoffendable does not mean denying what was done, but finding ways to love in spite of what’s been done.

Some wrongdoing cannot be overlooked…

Response:  Choose to Forgive (v.3)

  • Rebuke them – It’s okay to tell someone, “this is not acceptable.”
  • Choosing to live unoffendable is about release
  • According to Jesus, there is more to forgiveness than being on the receiving end.
  • To extend forgiveness feels like the victim must pay again.  Whenever you forgive, you choose to absorb the cost.
  • Unoffendable means forgiveness, and forgiveness means sacrifice
  • The payoff – Your freedom.

We are chained to the people we choose not to forgive

Think about your offender.   Are you willing to forgive?

The Power of Forgiveness: The Forgiveness Project. (Dr. Michael Barry)

Harboring unforgiveness makes people sick and makes people stay sick. From a medical perspective, when a person harbors unforgiveness, it causes interior bitterness, causes chronic anxiety, which produces excessive levels of cortisol and adrenaline which causes a suppression of the immune system.

Closing:  WWII Story – God moved the fence to include you, will you move the fence?