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?