THE UNFORGIVENESS TRAP
Satan will use small offenses to pull you away from relationships God has ordained. He will also use small offenses to remove your witness, especially from those who need it most.
I DON’T CARE ANYMORE, I’M DONE
- When is distancing appropriate? When someone is pulling you into sin.
- When is distancing not appropriate? When you take offense and refuse to walk in love.
Matthew 18:15 (VOICE) This is what you do if one of your brothers or sisters sins against you: go to him, in private, and tell him just what you perceive the wrong to be. If he listens to you, you’ve won a brother.
Most issues arise from misunderstandings—communication break downs. So don’t distance, communicate!
Distancing from others often hurts. To stop hurting we build walls. We allow little things to become big, we let our tongue get out of control, and we start pulling people down.
Isaiah 30:12-13 (NIRV) He [God] says, “ You have turned your backs on what I have said. You have depended on telling people lies. You have crushed others. Those sins are like cracks in a high wall. They get bigger and bigger. Suddenly the wall breaks apart.
3. False Beliefs.
Satan is the father of lies. To justify our actions, we let Satan fill our hearts. We start reading into things—twisting them—to justify our actions . . . until we start believing satan’s lies.
Once you reach the place of hostility, nothing the person does will be right anymore. Not even the good things.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (Phillips) Let there be no more resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self assertiveness, no more slander and no more malicious remarks, Be kind to each other, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
THE PATH OF FORGIVENESS
1. Giving up the right for revenge.
Stop punishing people because they hurting your feelings.
2. Releasing the resentment and anger.
Let love cover sin!
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Have mercy when you’re treated poorly. Instead of retribution, offer a path of redemption.
3. Moving forward by showing kindness.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’VE FORGIVEN
When you think about the situation:
- You may feel sad, but you don’t feel rage.
- You may feel disappointed, but you don’t feel hatred.
God did this for us and we’re called to do the same.
Luke 23:34 (NIV) Jesus said, “ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
God is saying, “I gave up My right to hurt you. I’ve release My resentment and anger against you. I’ve moved forward in our relationship by showing you kindness. Go, do the same.”
Matthew 5:43-44 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Rise above, release, and move forward!