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Forgiveness (6 of 21)
Series: The Promise of a Sound Mind
This topic will be the lengthiest section of this series, so I'm breaking it into two messages. There is so much we need to understand about forgiveness that it is necessary to cover this topic more fully. All of God's commands are intended for our good, but few commands produce immediate results like the command to forgive. Yes, forgiveness is a command - not an option.
Let's first look at the results of unforgiveness. Harboring resentment and anger creates more stress on our minds than any other cause. It's like a weight than we never put down. We might endure the stress of carrying this burden, but we'll never thrive as we could. The longer we carry it, the more blind we are to its presence in our lives. This is why childhood traumas have such lasting impacts. Long after we've forgotten the specifics, we struggle with the symptoms.
Victims of bitterness often don't even know why they are bitter. Or why they have certain emotional scars. It becomes part of our personalities and what drives many of our emotional reactions.
Anger and unforgiveness creates bitterness and hatred. Everyone is wronged. Any person who lives among other people will be offended and done wrong. Human nature cannot be removed from our social world. This is even true in church. Sometimes it appears that offenses are more common in churches, but this is because relationships are more intimate in a congregation, and the opportunity to offend becomes greater.
You will be wronged. You may not realize it, but you will also wrong other people. Sometimes one comment, a slip of the tongue, can create a chain of events with consequences we could have never anticipated. Churches split, families divide, friends become enemies - all from one misspoken word which hit an area of sensitivity in another person. Children fight and make up, but adult disputes can last a lifetime. This problem has always existed and we m ...
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