Grace’s #1 Enemy

  • Bitterness is fruit – Unforgiveness is the root – Tree of ungrace
  • Grace and forgiveness – Linked
  • “cycle:”  Injury > Penalty / Debt > cancellation (of payment)

Unforgiveness – hold hostages (does not set free)  Hebrews 12:15

  • Creates bondage…the real loser is the one harboring bitterness / grudge…become a captive to negative emotions and resentment  (“re-live”)
  • “Fail” – ( to fall short or come behind) –watch yourself and family
  • “Trouble” –(to cut, keep the wound open)…[Pres. Garfield-shot in back…died from constant probing of doctors-months later]
  • “Defile” – (to stain, taint others) – divorce, murder, vengeance.
  • Bitterness is an acid – eats the container it’s in – until it leaks out and then destroys closest thing to it.

–         (Mary Karr’s uncle sawed his house in ½)

Forgiveness “to set free’ – someone who has wronged you, taken from you, damaged you, injured you, taken advantage of you…  Even though we know we should … its like we can’t (100 reasons…)

  • People don’t forgive just because its commended / the right thing to do
  • It’s not just a switch we flip…it’s a wound [healing]: its not easy

That’s why, over and over, forgiveness is linked to two things- a blessing or a curse (motivator or consequence)  Matthew 6:14-15 (both + & – )

  • Matthew 18:21-35 – King forgave $15,000,000; Servant didn’t truly receive it; Servant demanded $5,000 from fellow
  • We are totally forgiven; We must forgive

Living in Total Forgiveness – Un-enslaved  (Romans 6:6)

  • Ill.- “Remember the duck” – Sally kept Johnny captive to guilt
  • Ill.- Professors final exam – at end, just sign your name and get a A+
  • “Forgiving Self” (Dr. Phil. / Oprah)
    • Need to apologize to someone you can’t, Asking for forgiveness, being refused, Needing to know you’re forgiven, Punishing ourselves for wrong… “You can’t” No more than a prisoner can pardon himself!  **Never mentioned in the Bible (middle voice)
    • Answer: Renewed understanding of God’s total forgiveness
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