Grace & Truth: With those who have hurt us.
Last 2 weeks looking at balance of being full of Grace and full of Truth in our lives.
Do we point people to truth without grace or give grace without leading people to God’s truth?
Are we wanting people to live a certain way b/c of our preference or b/c God’s truth compels us to live that way?
Am I being gracious to someone b/c I love them, do I care more about the person and seek to lead them to God or do I want them to not be mad at me.
Am I leading someone to God’s truth b/c I love them or am I trying to fix their behavior?
Parent’s are we trying to get our kids to behave well or enabling them to own their faith and know how God can impact their life.
Who are we in our relationships with others? Are we trying to help them grow in their relationship in their life?
Last week did you think about speaking Grace with Truth and Truth with Grace with the people around you?
Bottom Line: In order to live Full of Grace & Truth we need to forgive people in our lives who have hurt us.
If they have hurt us or we have been hurt by someone how are we responding to them.
Luke 6:27- 35 (NASB)
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
vs. 27-30 – This is a way of lifestyle that we are not used to.
I can do that to people who love me, who likes me, who I want to be around. But to do that to someone who doesn’t like me, who hurts me, I don’t think I can do that.
31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
vs. 31 – Golden Rule.. I can do that to people who I love..but to people that I don’t like…no way.
32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
vs. 32-35 – This bothers us. God you are kind to evil men. Why? I want bad things to happen to bad people. In order to live a life full of grace & Truth. We have marriages here today that are struggling b/c there are hurts that have never been resolved. We often just want them to know how bad they have hurt us. That is why we often times won’t forgive.
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
vs. 36. Wait a minute….I have sinned. I have rebelled against God.
God’s goal is not to keep us from good things. God does not put good things out of bounds. If we look at His word and see where God is pointing us, we can know that He is showing us what is best.
So if he says for me to love those who have been mean to me then it must be good.
We need a relationship where we you can talk to me and I can talk to you about the areas I have hurt you or where I am struggling. I would like for us both together to talk about those issues and in spite of our hurts I want us to work things out.
Question: How do we love our enemies?
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Pray for God to help you help you put on these clothes. Pray for Him to help you be compassionate, kind. Pray for God to give you a humble heart. One that is willing to call out our sin when we have blown it. Are you willing to let others point out areas in your life where you have messed up realizing that our heart should desire to be restored to God and others? Pray for God to help you to be gentle in your response and patient with others.
Proverbs 15:1, “A Gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
I had this up in my room at college after I had a conversation with someone who hurt me and I came across to them in a very hurtful way. I was wrong and felt awful about it. I needed to be reminded that the way that I respond to people with my words, does matter to God and others. If I respond harshly to you or others it will stir up anger with them. Do we do this in our marriages?
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
How do we do this?
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
Are you letting God’s Word guide you? Are you having daily exposure to God’s Word in your life? – Download a Bible app and add reading God’s Word to your daily routine.
…with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Illustration: Someone that was very hard to love at one of my previous churches. They seemed to always expect everyone else to live rightly, but they did the same things they called others out on. They even slept in church most Sundays. I really struggled being around them. In fact, I was certain they looked down on me.
I realized that I was really struggling so I prayed for God to enable me to love him with the love that God gave me. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I prayed for compassion for him. So..after doing this I found that one day I stopped to talk to this man and my heart began to see he had pain. I knelt down where he was sitting and I stopped and just asked, “How are you?..really, how are you doing?” He began to tear up and he told me of some things he was really struggling with. We prayed with each other and from that point…I no longer saw this hard man but someone who needed God and His love. At the end of our conversation he grabbed my hand and said thank you for stopping and asking me. It changed my view because I was willing to love this man way God loved me.
This was an example of putting on compassion, kindness, and humility. It was more important for me to love him than worry about that I was right or than to worry about whether he was judging me or not.
If there are people that you are critical of or having a hard time. I encourage you to pray for those people. Pray for God to give you a compassionate heart for them and to care about them and their relationship with God more than how they have hurt you.
We need to do this right now with our marriages and our relationship with family members. Pray right now to help us to be compassionate for our husband, wife, kids. Everything else doesn’t compare to this. Those are the people that God has put in your life. We need those relationships to be the strongest.
How do I really forgive someone?
Why is it so hard to forgive someone who has hurt me?
1. Unforgiveness becomes part of your life.
– I have always had trouble forgiving a particular person
2. Forgiving them doesn’t change their behavior.
Their behavior toward me doesn’t change even when I want to forgive.
3. We want them to realize how bad they have hurt us.
– They need to know how bad they hurt me so that .they will change. Parents, kids, wives, husbands. Are you struggling with how you speak to those closest to you, don’t look for a way out of that relationship. Look for ways to strengthen it.
Quote: “The grass is always greener where you water it.”
Grass is not always greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it and take care of it.
If you do the same thing to the grass on the other side it will have the same consequences. What are you putting into those relationships? Bitterness, Unforgiveness, anger, frustration or am I putting in those relationships Love, compassion, gentleness.
4. If we forgive them then they might assume that we are ok with what they have done.
We don’t want people to think that the way they hurt us was ok. It isn’t!
– What we failed to realize that we continue to damage that relationship and our own selves. We don’t want to wake up and say I really want to be angry today. I am really looking forward to feeling bitter toward people in my family and the people I work with.
When we won’t forgive someone that have hurt us then we can guarantee that relationship won’t be restored. We need to show grace to people who have hurt us. It is better for us in our relationships if we do this.
I don’t want to forgive them.
Many years ago a guy came to my church and talked about forgiveness and he said something to me that I will never forget.
Have you ever heard people say things to you or someone else where you or they responded with, “That offends me. I take offense to what you said.”
What does it mean to take offense at something? This guy said, “If we take offense to something someone has done or said to us, it is our fault. We are the ones who are taking the offense.”
We don’t have to take this offense. We don’t have to be offended. When we take that offense on. I am choosing to be bitter, hurt and frustrated so you will know how you have offended me.
Now they shouldn’t say what they said. It was wrong. But is there a more gracious way to approach them. Is taking offense to what others say the best approach to loving God and Loving others?
In the book, “Resolving everyday conflict” by Ken Sande there is a statement that says, “If in a relationship we are only 2% at fault, we are still responsible for that 2%.” What does that mean for us?
If you are 98% wrong I am still 100% responsible for how I respond in that 2%.
I can’t control what you do with your 98%. Btw, most of the time it isn’t a 98/2 split in our conflicts.
If I am bitter, frustrated and not willing to forgive someone it always affects the relationships closest to me. It will affect your relationship wtih your husband, wife, kids. It creates tension and it magnifies the problems.
How should we really respond? We should seek to forgive.
Ephesians 4:25-32, “25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin;
If we apply this next verse to our lives it will change your marriage. It will dramatically improve your relationships with the people you care about.
do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
If I go to bed angry with my wife, I have given the devil an opportunity to let the hurt grow. I can’t let that go. It will affect all other relationships in my life.
The only reason I would go to bed angry with my wife is PRIDE. That’s it. It is my pride. My selfish pride and I want them to know how bad they have hurt me, to change their behavior and to fix them.
Every relationship we have has a chance to be restored if we seek to forgive. It doesn’t mean that it will, but it has a chance.
…29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
So what do we do?
1. Pray Col. 3:12 over your relationships.
2. Pray for God to humble you. Recognize if I am angry there is selfish pride in my life that I am holding over them. I am saying that holding on to my anger is more important than that relationship.
3. If you are married go to each other and say, “I want to have the best marriage possible with you.”
If you are not feeling like you want to do this, then go back and do Challenge #1 & 2 again. This is why this is challenge number 3. In order for this to work we need to have done the first 2. In order to do that I have got to let go on my selfish pride and hurts. I know we are not perfect and we both will blow it, but you are more important than my anger. I am willing to let you dig into my life and show me areas where I am not living the way God desires.
It is very important that both of you do this. Here is the hard part. The only reason you wouldn’t do this is because of Pride. You feel you are owed a debt by that person. They owe you something and until they fix their problem then you won’t let them have the satisfaction of you forgiving them. The problem is Jesus has already taken care of our debt. Let’s not hold onto other people’s.
I want to water this grass and not trying to water someone else’s grass somewhere else.
4. Go to your kids asking them to forgive you for times you have not shown them Grace & Truth.
Tell them how you have not responded the way we should. Ask them to forgive you when you have not responded as Col 3:12 says. Let’s change the way we interact with each other. Let’s not hold onto hurts.
5. Pray for people in your life that you just don’t like. God will change your relationships with everyone around you. He will replace your anger with love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
Look forward to our next series
Next 3 weeks series
Next week pastor Doug starts a new series on three cultural tensions about which he will be bringing biblical clarity in a shades of gray world. It will give us some precise opportunities to apply what we have learned in our grace and truth series.