15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:14-15 (NLT)
The Bible teaches us that the ONLY way to dig up the poisonous root of bitterness that is growing up and troubling you is through forgiveness.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Maybe someone cheated on you. If you do not forgive them, you will be cheating yourself out of peace.
Maybe someone lied to you or stole from you or betrayed you. If you do not forgive them, you will allow them to continue to rip you off by stealing your joy.
Maybe someone abused you by touching you inappropriately. If you do not forgive them, you will allow them to continue to touch you in a painful way.
Most of us assume that if we forgive our offenders, they are let off the hook -- scot-free --. Nothing can be further from the truth!
It is important to understand what forgiveness is not:
Forgetting: deep hurts can rarely be wiped out of one's awareness.
Reconciliation: reconciliation takes two people, but an injured party can forgive an offender without reconciliation.
Condoning: forgiveness does not excuse bad or hurtful behavior.
Dismissing: forgiveness involves taking the offense seriously, not passing it off as inconsequential or insignificant.
Pardoning: a pardon is a legal transaction that releases an offender from the consequences of an action. Forgiveness is a personal transaction that releases the one offended from the offense.
Tomorrow we look at why we MUST forgive others.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Our prayers go out to the families of the victims of the shootings in Hesston.
Do you know of a Dad or GrandDad with a school age girl? Invite them to C3's Daddy/Daughter Date Night this Saturday at 6pm.
Invite those you know who have pre-school - 5th grade students to check out how affordable a Christian Education at Victory Christian Academy can be.