Jesus says it is impossible no offense should come, so watch yourself, even if your brother sins against you seven times in a day forgive him.
Jesus is straight up, you are going to get offended in life. Forgiveness will not be logical, nor will it be encouraged by anyone in the world. We are commanded to forgive because Jesus first forgave us.
What’s up Valley Creek Students, you are at student circles where we discuss the weekend message, engage the scriptures, and pray together. And wow this weekend had so much to talk about, so let’s dive in.
We are in a series called again and this week we are talking about how it is time to forgive again. In Luke 17 Jesus says “It is impossible that no offense should come…so watch yourself. (even) if your brother sins against you seven times in a day…forgive him.”
Jesus is straight up – you are going to get offended in life. Forgiveness will not be logical, nor will it be encouraged by anyone in the world – but we are commanded, yes commanded, to forgive, because Jesus first forgave us.
Check this out – Matthew 10:8. Lost sight of grace of God
So, the question I want to ask you and you should write down – Where am I offended?
In Jesus name it’s time to get rid of that because offenses do three things:
· They keep you trapped in the past
· They harden your heart
· And they are from the kingdom of darkness
They keep you trapped in the past because when you are offended the moment that that offense takes root, and you know it to be true, you get stuck there. You think through the interaction on repeat, you think about what you could have said differently, and why they were wrong. Offenses keep you from moving forward in life and on your journey with Jesus. And as a result, they harden your heart. When we get hurt, we put up walls in an effort to protect ourselves from getting hurt again but if we block out the potential for hurt, we also block out the potential for love and healing and grace. We become hard on ourselves and others, we don’t let people really get to know us, we keep everyone at an arm’s distance, leave before you get left, hurt them before they can hurt you. And ultimately offenses are from the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy. Offenses are literally the opposite of that because they take away your right standing with others, they steal your peace and kill your joy. Jesus unconditionally forgave us so anything that isn’t unconditional forgiveness, isn’t for us.
Check this out, an offended Christian is a paradox. We cannot participate. Jesus was canceled for you.
So, if there is offense in your heart, it just goes to show that you have forgotten that Jesus isn’t offended at you. How you forgive, or don’t forgive others is a direct reflection of how you believe Jesus has forgiven you. If you believe that Jesus begrudgingly forgives you, like gets frustrated by your sin but kind of throws his hands up in the air and says “Sure I guess I’ll cover this one too,” that is how you are going to forgive others.
So, question for you – Look at how you forgive others. What does that show you about how you believe Jesus has forgiven you?
And then let’s have the faith to do something about it. Come on guys, God has so much more for you to be stuck in the cycle of unforgiveness and offenses. I have seen people in my life get crippled from unforgiveness. If they got offended at age 12, they are still stuck at age 12 and truly have not been able to move forward in life and on their journey with Jesus. And I get it – it hurt. It hurt so bad and it was not right and I’m sorry. And God knows that. And I’m not even promising that you will see it be made right on this side of eternity – but by holding onto that offense, you’re not punishing them, you are hurting yourself. For years and years guys, I held on to “my right” to be offended at people and circumstances in my life. They hurt and they were wrong. But at some point I knew that the Lord was inviting me to more and I had to let go of my “right” to be offended and hurt, I had to let go of my right to be the victim, and step out of the trap of offense.
And if you are wondering how to even start – this weekend we have three ways to do that:
Focus on God’s grace for you. When you clearly see all that you have been forgiven of, it makes it hard to say that you deserve the forgiveness of Jesus but they (whoever they are) doesn’t. And so, you have to ask yourself – Do I spend more time talking about what people did to me, or what Jesus has done for me?
Pray for them – because talking to God about them helps us to see them the way that he does
Last thing, bless them. Jesus didn’t just cancel your debt; he credited your account. He didn’t just save you from hell, he made you his beloved son and daughter. And I will be honest, this is the hardest step of them all for me, but it’s the step that I personally have found the most freedom in. When I feel an offense rising up in my heart, my “move” so to say is to send them an encouraging text speaking the truth of Jesus over their life. Sometimes I feel so offended that I have to pull over while I’m driving and do it right then and there. It’s not really for them, it’s for me. I need to do something that costs me something, because it cost Jesus everything to forgive me.
So come on Valley Creek Students, it is time to forgive again, it’s time to step out of the trap of offense, trust our good Father with the hurt, and keep moving forward, in Jesus name.