Unforgiveness Part 2
Steps of Repentance
Steps of Repentance
I am sure some of you think that those of us who bring the Word on Sunday get up here and make it look so easy. You may even assume that when we walk off the stage or the day is done we think wow that was amazing and fun and everybody was listening and I can’t wait till next week.
....Well king of. Some weeks are like that and then some are not. After the message last week and during the message as I was teaching I was thinking man no one is picking up anything I am putting down and I should have done a lot better job with this topic and then it came response time and boy was I EVER SO WRONG. I know the topic was key but your response to the topic blew me away and then all week long some of you have requested the copy of the sermon and many of you gave me words of encouragement about the message.
This response led me to go deeper in this topic today. I spit a lot at you in a short amount of time so this morning I want to go deeper and the purpose of going deeper on this subject because my desire for some of you is for you to actually experience true healing in the area of unforgiveness. I believe as Lead pastor and shepherd that this is possible through Jesus. This is not just some topic that I like talking about and I want you to hear me talking about it. NO, I want you to understand scripture and allow Jesus to heal you.
Last week, at the end of the message I flew through the steps of Repentance and today I want to go back through those and you should be able to take some notes on these steps.
Step 1. God I am Wrong
The first step to healing is to admit you are wrong. If you have been wronged and you have unforgiveness, then it can be difficult for you to admit that your unforgiveness is wrong. If the person hurt you that brought on unforgiveness then you to admit that your unforgiveness is wrong can be so hard. The reason we know unforgiveness is wrong is because Jesus tells us that we are to be forgiving.
“For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.
So Unforgiveness is wrong not because I have told you that but because God’s word that is our standard says it is wrong. If the Bible says it is wrong then it is not to be debated, then it is wrong.
Step 2. God I am Sorry
Step two is to say God I am Sorry. Again this is Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Paul talks about this in his letter to the church at Corinth.
For even if I grieved you with my letter, I do not regret it—even though I did regret it since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a little while. Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.
Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Again, making my kids say they are sorry is not Godly sorrow. That is teaching my kids to lie because many times they are not really sorry other times there is sorrow all over their face and they are sad that they did that to you or their siblings. Paul talks about a Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Lord I am sorry that my unforgiveness caused you to go to the cross for me. I am sorry that the nails driven in to your hands and feet was because of my unforgiveness.
Step 3. God Forgive me
It is our responsibility to ask for Forgiveness but only God grants forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
According to this verse EVERY time we ask He forgives. If we ask for God to forgive us for our unforgiveness, then he grants forgiveness to us.
Don’t get confused here. This is not asking for God to change the heart of the person who wronged you. This is all about you dealing with the fact that your unforgiveness toward the person who hurt you is wrong before God and you are asking God to forgive you of that.
True forgiveness is when God grants you the ability to
Cease to feel resentment for wrongs and offenses
Houston, J. M. (1988). Forgiveness. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 810). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Now in regards to last week I want to stop here and dig a little deeper.
I began last week talking about the friends that brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus and what did Jesus say the the man. He said your sins are FORGIVEN.
This belief is essential for you to be healed of unforgiveness. The Gospels give us this account in Mark 2 and the Pharisees scream out blasphemy because Jesus said he had the power to Forgive sin.
When it comes to forgiveness read the account and believe that Jesus has the power to forgive sin. If you choose not to believe after reading the account and seeing it in scripture, then your response is the same as the pharisees that say I can’t believe he says he is God. Either he is God and forgives sins or he is not. Our desire after reading and teaching on this account is that you say ok I believe because of your word that you have the power to forgive sin.
If this is not enough, then let me remind you of the lady in Luke 7 that kisses Jesus feet and wipes his feet with her hair. Again, the pharisees say if he was a prophet he would know what kid of woman was touching him because she is a sinner and Jesus after teaching them looks at her in Luke 7:48 and says Your sins are Forgiven.
Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
So twice Jesus says your sins are forgiven. If you doubt that Jesus has the power to forgive sin then simply come back to these places in scripture and be reminded that Jesus told both of the these people your sins are forgiven.
Later in Scripture we also read
The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus’ name.
Step 3 God Forgive me
Step 4. God Cleanse me
But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
God cleanse me is to say God I am ready for you to remove all unforgiveness from my heart and my mind. I want this that has chained me down to be out of me.
Many people want to be forgiven for their unforgiveness but don’t want to get rid of it. The longer you nurse this grudge towards someone who hurt you the more precious it becomes to you. It eventually becomes this precious almost family heirloom that you don’t want to get rid of because if you get rid of it, then you might not know how to function and you have convinced yourself that it is only right for you to hold on to this unforgiveness.
Step 4 is the opposite of this that you say God this is wrong, I am sorry, God forgive me and now God cleanse me and remove this family heirloom of unforgiveness because I am tired of hanging on to it.
David’s prayer in Psalm 51 is a beautiful example of the steps of repentance and in verse 2 he says
Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.
Step 5. God Empower me
This is to say God I can’t live a day without you empowering me to Forgive those who have wronged me. God I don’t have the strength to forgive them and I need you to empower me to forgive them. Lord fill me with your forgiveness.
Remember when Moses asked to see the Glory of God and what was one of the things that passed in front of Moses in Exodus 34:6-7
Then the Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.
So when you see this person again or you think about this person you pray God empower me with forgiveness to them. Lord I struggle with unforgiveness towards them and I know it is wrong Lord empower me with forgiveness to them. God let them see your Glory in me by empowering me with your forgiveness.
Step 5 is God empower me.
This step is hard because it takes you admitting that you can’t fix this problem on your own and that you are forever dependent on Jesus to overcome this sin. We don’t want to do that because we are human and we don’t need anyone. We are independent and can fix this and we don’t want to have to need a Savior we want to be the Savior.
This step says I am forever dependent on Jesus to overcome my sin problem.
Step 1 God I am Wrong
Step 2 God I am Sorry
Step 3 God Forgive Me
Step 4 God Cleanse Me
Step 5 God Empower Me
What happens to you if you choose not to forgive?
What happens to you if you choose not to forgive?
Nursing a grudge towards someone within yourself hurts only you.
If you choose to not forgive, then you continue to hang on to that which Jesus died on the cross to set you free from.
You will remain bitter towards the other person and eventually grow bitter towards many other people that have nothing to do with the person you first were unforgiving towards.
Your heart will be full of anger. This unforgiveness will develop in to anger and hate. Most murders do not happen among strangers. Murders generally take place from people who know each other and their unforgiveness goes from this to hate and then eventually to murder.
Some may struggle to love the current spouse you have to your full extent because of the unforgiveness you still have towards an ex. Some may struggle to love your children fully because of unforgiveness towards an ex.
You hear all the time that people will make a commitment that they will never remarry because they have been hurt so bad.
Some will never trust anyone ever again because unforgiveness towards one person ruined it for everyone else.
Now this sounds crazy that we would desire to be this person and yet when we hold on to our unforgiveness this is who we are. We become an unforgiving, bitter, angry, and hateful person. We then show up on Sunday and try to fake it in front of everyone but yet the true colors will eventually shine through.
Why would anyone choose this when Jesus said your sins are forgiven and he died to set us free from this unforgiveness.
What traits do you have as a result from unforgiveness in your life?
Turn to Genesis 39 I am sure when I mention the story of Joseph some of you say yeah but it worked out for Joseph and so far it is not working out for me. Well… it is really not fair that you get to read the end of the story and know how it turns out for Joseph, but realize that when Joseph was going through everything he did not have the end of the story. God had made promises to him just like through his word he has made promises to you but Joseph did not know how this would all turn out.
Do you remember when Joseph got a word from the Lord in a dream?
He gets the dream and then runs to tell his brothers and as a result they plot to kill him!
He had a word from the Lord and shares it with those that are closest to him being his brothers and as a result they plotted to kill him.
When is the last time you had a word from the Lord and told it to someone and as a result they plotted to kill you?
I am guessing as Joseph was thrown in the well to die he was thinking this is exactly what I thought would happen if I told my brothers the dream the Lord had given me! Right!?!
Again not fair you have the end of the story but Joseph didn’t
What about this one in Genesis 39?
Joseph is following the Lord and then this happens.
Now Joseph had been taken to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he did successful, Joseph found favor in his master’s sight and became his personal attendant. Potiphar also put him in charge of his household and placed all that he owned under his authority. From the time that he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph. The Lord’s blessing was on all that he owned, in his house and in his fields. He left all that he owned under Joseph’s authority; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. After some time his master’s wife looked longingly at Joseph and said, “Sleep with me.” But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “with me here my master does not concern himself with anything in his house, and he has put all that he owns under my authority. No one in this house is greater than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?” Although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her. Now one day he went into the house to do his work, and none of the household servants were there. She grabbed him by his garment and said, “Sleep with me!” But leaving his garment in her hand, he escaped and ran outside. When she saw that he had left his garment with her and had run outside, she called the household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “my husband brought a Hebrew man to make fools of us. He came to me so he could sleep with me, and I screamed as loud as I could. When he heard me screaming for help, he left his garment with me and ran outside.” She put Joseph’s garment beside her until his master came home. Then she told him the same story: “The Hebrew slave you brought to us came to make a fool of me, but when I screamed for help, he left his garment with me and ran outside.” When his master heard the story his wife told him—“These are the things your slave did to me”—he was furious and had him thrown into prison, where the king’s prisoners were confined. So Joseph was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. The warden put all the prisoners who were in the prison under Joseph’s authority, and he was responsible for everything that was done there. The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him, and the Lord made everything that he did successful.
Imagine with me for a second if Joseph would have had facebook during his life.
What might have been some of his facebook post beginning with the dream he first received that made his brothers jealous.
Facebook Slideshow here.
Joseph had done nothing wrong! What if he had let Potiphar’s wife’s accusation develop in to unforgiveness.
Now think about this. At this point his own family has tried to kill him, and then they sold him. He has risen to a place of authority for Potiphar and then his wife comes in and accuses him of rape.
Joseph has a lot to be unforgiving about. Many would comfort Joseph and tell him hey it’s ok that you don’t forgive your brothers or Potiphar’s wife because what they did to you was wrong.
But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
I know what your thinking but that is Joseph and I want the Lord to do that to me. I believe if you are hearing this message right now that the Lord is showing kindness on you and wanting you to be healed of your unforgiveness.
If Joseph had become untrusting, angry, bitter, hateful or murderous, then there is now way he would have found favor before the prison warden.
The story of Joseph is a reminder that nothing can stop the will of God in your life. Not even family! Not even someone making an accusation that is not true.
Side Note: How many of you would have wanted to worship next to Joseph after Potiphar’s wife had cried rape against him?
Jesus has forgiven us of so much but we still struggle to forgive others.
Nothing can stop the will of God on your life.
True forgiveness is not something you can just choose. True forgiveness towards someone else comes only but the cleansing of unforgiveness through the blood shed of Jesus.
You must believe that Jesus can forgive your sin of unforgiveness.
God I am wrong for my unforgiveness
God I am sorry for my unforgiveness
God I Forgive me of my unforgiveness
God Cleanse me of my unforgiveness
God Empower me of my unforgiveness
Let’s just say the person who hurt you so badly tries to restore everything they have done to you. They stole your house, they harmed your body, they hurt your family, they hurt you, and they work to restore all of this.
Will this effort alone fix your heart to trust again to love again, to have joy again, to sleep at night again?
I would argue no! You will have everything back and still be full of unforgiveness and miserable.
Getting everything back won’t fix your heart.
Allowing Jesus to truly heal your heart of unforgiveness will allow you to love again, to have joy again, to sleep at night and to have peace in your heart!