Bitterness For Forgiveness
Nov 26, 2017 - Rev. Stephen Lohoefer
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- Is there someone in your life who “owes” you? What is it they owe you?
- How does un-forgiveness become bitterness? What impact does that have on your life?
- How can you trade up your bitterness for forgiveness? What is standing in the way?
Have you ever been hurt?
Of course, you have. If you’re in any sort of relationship with anyone ever, you’ve been hurt.
What do you do when it happens?
This weekend in Cornerstone, Stephen Lohoefer, Campus Pastor of The Grove, closed out Trading Up with a powerful message on turning bitterness into something better.
Bitterness brews when there’s a hurt you’re holding onto when you have been wronged. When you’ve been wronged, there’s a debt to be paid. You can feel it in your gut: “You owe me.” Paul deals with this in his letter to the Church at Ephesus:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Eph. 4:31)
Get rid of it.
But how? If you’ve ever been hurt, you know it’s not that easy just to get rid of it. There’s a debt. Somebody owes you in order to make it right.
Paul goes on to say:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4:32)
The way to get rid of bitterness is to trade up for forgiveness.
To learn more about how to forgive, why we do it, and what it is NOT.
When trying to forgive someone else their “debt,” it helps to remember the ways we have fallen short too. During your First 15, meditate on Psalm 103, especially this part:
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12
When you read this and let it soak in, how does it affect you?