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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Choosing Forgiveness-Chapter 2

As I tread through this book, it has become very clear that forgiving is a choice. The choice to forgive sometimes is not an easy one to make when

1. the person you are forgiving continues on committing offenses

or

2. you feel that the offense is too great to let go.

Allowing bitterness and unforgiveness to enter my heart puts the responsibility on my shoulders , and not the shoulders of the one who caused the offense.

“Our society has become so riddled with rancor and bitterness we almost consider it a normal response to life.”(from book)

Since when ,as believers, has it been normal for us to walk around with unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts.

How do you know if you are bitter?

Here is a list of statements given in the book:

“ 1. I often replay in my mind the incident that hurt me.

2. When I think of a particular person or situation, I still feel angry.

3. I have a subtle, secret desire to see this person pay for what he or she did to me.

4. I try hard not to think about the person,event or circumstance that caused me so much pain.

5. Deep in my heart, I wouldn’t mind if something bad happened to the person(s) who hurt me.

6.I often find myself telling others how this person has hurt me.

7. A lot of my conversations revolve around this situation.

8. Whenever his or her name come up, I am more likely to say something negative than something positive about him or her.”

Does any of these statements describe you?- I found myself saying yes to a few of them. OUCH!!!

“These kinds of thoughts reveal pockets of resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts.”(from book)

Eph 4:31
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Eph 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

What is Bitterness?

What does it mean?

Bitterness comes from the Greek word - πικρία pikria-

Which means:

1) bitter gall

a) extreme wickedness

b) a bitter root, and so producing a bitter fruit

c) metaph. bitterness, bitter hatred

 

-so when bitterness takes root, it produces bitter fruit within us.

What is wrath?

What does it mean?

Wrath comes from the Greek word-θυμός thymos

Which means:

1) passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again

Wrath is a passionate and strong feeling that comes quickly and leaves you just as quickly.

What is Anger?

What does it mean?

Anger in Greek is: ὀργή orgē

It means:

1) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character

2) movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger

3) anger, wrath, indignation

4) anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself

a) of punishments inflicted by magistrates

 

As you can see these things can easily corrupt the heart of a believer.

“Bitterness in our hearts will inevitably find its way into our speech and our tone of voice.

Just think:

  • Bitterness grieves the Spirit of God.
  • Such a spirit makes us hard and cold and difficult to live with.
  • It turns us into people who are negative and critical.
  • It makes us resistant to God’s plan and His love for us.
  • Eventually it destroys us, the way acid eats through the container which it’s held.”

Read Matthew 18:23-34

Here Jesus shares a parable of king, and two servants. The king brought Servant 1 before him because of the debt he owed, and granted him mercy by forgiving him of his debt. Servant 1 then ran into Servant 2, whom owed him. Servant 1 – whom the king pardoned, did not show Servant 2 the same grace that was bestowed upon him. When the king found out, he turned Servant 1 over to tormentors.

“Everytime I refuse to forgive, anytime I hold a grudge, I am like the man who grabbed his debtor by the throat, demanding, ‘Pay me back.’”(from book)

What is the price for our disobedience to the Word?

Do we get turned over to our tormentors?

Saints of Christ- examine your heart- find the root of your bitterness- and lets cast that root where it belongs!

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