Love Keeps no Record of Wrongs - June 8, 2014

that invite should open your Bibles to

the book of first Corinthians chapter

thirteen as you remember we're talking

about issues related to community what

does it mean to have relationships with

each other what does it mean to be a

Christian community and so first

Corinthians 13 talks about the heart of

the matter it talks about love what does

it mean to really love one another very

often in society and in music and in

movies love is considered a feeling

that's sentimental but what does it

really mean in the nitty-gritty what

does it mean to love one another and

thank God he doesn't leave it to our

imagination first Corinthians 13 he gets

very specific with us about what love

means I don't remember what I talked

about a couple weeks ago love is not

rude remember that love is not rude we

talked for a whole day about rudeness

and how love is not rude now I hope

nobody pulled that out and used it on

their spouse or their kids or their

mother and said love is not rude these

are meant more for us to apply to our

lives not necessarily to apply to the

lives of others right but to our own

lives and another as we get into these

sermons sometimes people might think was

was Greg talking about that because of

you know what I said or what I just want

to let you know it just happens to be

next in the text okay whatever i'm

preaching I'm not aiming it at a person

in particular but with that said if the

shoe fits by all means first Corinthians

13 let's keep going here verse 5 still

verse 5 and we're actually gonna skip a

phrase and come back to that later and

we'll skip ahead to the right in the

middle of the verse it says love is not

rude it is not self-seeking it is not

easily angered it keeps no record of

wrongs love is not easily angered it

keeps no record of

let's pray for that father in Jesus name

I thank you that your love is true love

God and in Jesus name we set aside the

preconceptions we might have about love

sentimental idealistic imaginary

concepts of beautiful feelings and

fireworks god I thank you for the

sensation of being in love I thank you

for the wonder of loving a little infant

but God I also thank you for the daily

love that we express to people day by

day over the long term where the rubber

hits the road and I thank you that that

is every bit as glorious as the kinds of

emotional love their celebrated in the

movies and God I pray that we would be

men and women who are primarily

characterized by love father that if

there is one thing we get right in our

lives alongside the gospel the true

gospel of knowing Jesus let it be this

when we come before your throne let us

be judged and evaluated on the quality

of our love for the people that you have

sent us to serve Lord God let us get

this right as much as we possibly can

and let this reflection together be one

small part of our preparation together

to be more and more the men and women

that you've called us to be in the

community you've called us to be that we

would be a church God in a the English

expression of Lion of Judah that is

characterized by love Lord God let this

not just be words let it be a reality

that people can feel and observe among

us Lord God so speak to us speak through

us I pray in Jesus name Amen love is not

easily angered love is not provoked love

keeps no record of wrongs in the King

James love thinketh no evil we'll talk

about what that means in Spanish el amor

no se Rita no guarda rank or love is not

irritable nor

resentful anyone ever been irritable

anyone irritable today do you don't have

to admit it we don't need to see hands

go up resentful now this is talking

about anger how we process anger in our

lives the little irritations and the

things that make us angry that we

remember they made us angry and we've

got them written down in a mental list

that we carry around and review from

time to time love is not easily angered

love keeps no record of wrongs and I

want to start by saying that if you say

you've never been annoyed first of all

you're lying okay and it's a good thing

you'll be lying because someone who

doesn't get annoyed is not alive right

you're either a robot or you're a very

strange person could you imagine a

person who is so tranquil that nothing

ever bothers them nothing ever ever ever

ruffles their feathers that person would

actually give you the creeps no because

you like something's wrong with them

what are they up to it would be a very

creepy thing the real villains and the

movies are usually people who seem

unflappable that's weird unruffle they

don't get upset normal people get

annoyed sometimes normal people get

angry sometimes okay that's normal

that's healthy that's human God gets

angry sometimes there are things that

annoy Jesus the question is what do we

get angry about and what do we do with

the anger or the annoyance once we have

it now one thing I want to also say in

Spanish there's a great saying CUDA are

saying salud which is basically curing

yourself when you're already healthy it

means you're doing a disclaimer I don't

want us to come out of this message

thinking we all need to be you know if

you've heard the phrase serenity now you

ever seen anyone ever watched Seinfeld

you don't have to admit it it's like the

only TV show i refer to

it was occurring to me as I was thinking

of using this illustration people are

gonna think you're not Greg haven't you

watch TV since the 90s you know and have

you seen anything you know since then

you know it's all I got okay it's all I

god I haven't seen a whole lot more

there is a character in this TV show

this seinfeld TV show named Kramer you

might remember right everyone's got a

Kramer in his life right I'm someone's

Kramer we all have Kramer right is a

very flaky person he decided one day he

was going to adopt a self-help

philosophy called serenity now serenity

now whenever he was upset deep breath

serenity now serenity now I am NOT

annoyed serenity now he even went out

and bought or he got AAA screamed or

even though he lived in an apartment in

Manhattan he got a screen door like and

put it on his front door to pretend he

was like it was like a porch of a

Midwestern neighborhood Alice you know

peaceful serenity now serenity now and

then every time don't go wrong he's it's

ok doesn't bother me things don't bother

me anymore I've learned the secret of

serenity you know it's like a cult right

serenity now and one day he was sitting

out in front of his screen door and and

the neighbors came by and noticed that

some people had vandalized the screen

door they spray-painted they put some

insects ok it's just those kids hot

those kids serenity now serenity now

doesn't bother me then a little later in

the show right he's sitting in his lawn

chair right he had a lawn like a porch

chair that he put in front of his door

in this apartment building and he's

sitting there and his neighbor comes out

and notices that now the kids had not

just vandalized the door they had

vandalized him there was shaving cream

all over him and the door there was

toilet paper all over him and spray

paint and he was just sitting there this

right now Serena

serenity now and the neighbors like

Kramer you are right in there you all

right uh yeah that's the kids serenity

now serenity now a little later in the

show some other character in the show

had ten computer stored in the apartment

because he was selling them and Kramer

one point just yelled serenity now and

just goes nuts and you hear these

explosions and these breaking said he

basically destroyed 10 computers sir

heading a bad measure he came in the

room all relaxed and happy and of course

his neighbor's deficit he just destroyed

10 computers and he's like yeah I owe

you one buddy and he's happy right that

is not what I am encouraging us to do

okay cuz when you explode I don't want

to be there for the explosion all right

serenity now is not the teaching on love

we're talking about here okay what I

don't want is it's normal when somebody

vandalize is something that's yours for

you to be annoyed by that they've

crossed a boundary if somebody

vandalizes you I certainly hope you get

annoyed and offended if you're a healthy

person a person who doesn't get bothered

when somebody crosses your boundaries

and does something inappropriate to you

is not a healthy person they don't

respect themselves they don't value

themselves okay so I'm not saying that

people never get angry and the Bible

doesn't call us to never get angry does

a great verse Ephesians 4 26 and maybe

they can find it up there oh we've got

some real we got the gangway we have the

dream team up there on projections so I

know we got Frank back and everybody and

the beautiful couple so the verse

Ephesians 4 verse 26 in your anger do

not sin and do not let the Sun go down

on your anger don't give the devil a

foothold be an eighth the literal in the

King James it says be ye angry get angry

that's ok but don't sin and don't let

the Sun go down on your anger don't hold

it don't hold that resentment to the

next day because that gives the devil a

foothold in your life

in your relationships now many of us we

don't just hold anger from one day to

another we hold it from one week to

another one month to another one year

hundreds and thousands of times the sun

goes down on our anger and it becomes

part of us so anger is not sinful in and

of itself it's what we do with it it's

learning to cultivate a calm generous

posture towards the people around us so

that I'm not a bomb ready to explode

remember the word we learned for

patients a few weeks ago I taught you

some Greek here mackerel foo may anyone

remember what it means literally macro

long sume in greek through mail burn

long burn long fuse slow burn it's that

you don't explode quickly there's a long

slow burn before you're going to get

angry you don't get angry quickly you're

not ready to explode at people there's a

great verse James 119 James 119 that

says each of you should take note of

this let each of you be quick to listen

quick to listen what are we usually

quick to do quick the talk you know

quick to listen slow to speak and slow

to become angry you should be a person

that people can say yeah he can get

angry or she can get angry but they

don't get angry easily and then they

don't stay angry for long because that's

the point it's not about getting angry

it's that we get angry too quickly and

we stay angry too long that's the

problem right so let's talk about that

let's start with getting angry too

quickly love a la moda no say Rita the

literal word in the Greek is is not

provoked it's it's a word that it means

cutting alongside cutting close the

image is somebody's poking you any

siblings do that to each other I know


little human beings in my house that

will poke one another until the other

one reacts right and that's the goal to

get them to react right you poke until

the person is provoked as I stop that

someone's poking you there jabbing at

you to provoke a reaction now actually

in the in the New Testament that word is

not very common but it is used once of a

good thing you know by the way the

thumping upstairs means it's a bunch of

kids jumping up and down praising Jesus

isn't that great in that case it's not a

herd of we don't keep you know animals

up there although they do behave like

chivos seen lay much of the time if

you're that worried goats without law

but the thumping upstairs so when we

hear that we just like praise god this

whole building is just rocking with

praise for Jesus right so it's like

background worship for us so that's

that's cool I have no problem with that

serenity now sometimes we do need to

talk ourselves into these things right

it's okay it's okay poking providing the

the other word for this word for being

provoked or being annoyed is used of the

Apostle Paul when he was in Athens the

night is he he had a night to kick

around when he got there I'm just wander

around the city and he saw all these

idols all over the place and the Bible

said his spirit was provoked within him

and then he went on to preach in the ER

Appa ghus so there are some things this

should provoke us that should bother us

I believe that's what the word used of

Samson when he was in the Philistine

camp one of his better moments not his

not so better moment one of his better

moments when he was in the Philistine

camp and he said the spirit stirred

within him the word in Hebrew is stirred

in an annoying way like stirred him up

like started bothering him because he

was seeing the idols there there should

be some when you see evil around you in

the world it should bother us it should

provoke us right so that's okay that

kind of provocation but usually we're

not provoked because God's honor is

offended why are we usually provoked

someone has pushed our button someone's

offended our on or

someone has annoyed us in some way we've

all got buttons okay we've all got

buttons that can be pushed right the

problem is we have too many buttons some

of us are covered with buttons you just

touch a boom you hit a button boma hey

see the idea is stepping on someone's

toes right you ever heard that phrase in

English those of you that are second

language speakers are learning a bunch

of idioms today to say stepping someone

steps on your toes means pay molesta

they annoy you the problem is some of us

have very big toes to get stepped on

very easily we're quick to the horn in

traffic were quick to become angry super

sensitive thin-skinned irritable

explosive volatile easily offended okay

if anyone can identify with this we're

moving along now again I want to say

again that getting annoyed sometimes is

a good thing Jesus I believe when he got

angry and he tipped over the tables in

the temple he the night before he had

gone just like Colin Athens he looked

around he saw these people setting up

tables of money changers in the courts

that were for the Gentiles to come and

pray and the weak and the sick and other

people who were ceremony and cleaned to

come and pray and they had filled those

courts with tables so that people

couldn't come and pray and they were

turning the house of God into a den of

thieves Jesus was annoyed by that he was

angry by that he made a whip can you

just imagine what the apostles must have

thought that night they're all around

the campfire relaxing Jesus what would

what are you working on over there oh

nothing it looks like you're weaving

something together that's just my whip

whip yeah I'm just going to go to the

temple tomorrow and I'm going to be

needing my whip I got some whipping to

do over there now people say those were

used on the animals that needed to be

moved along I don't know Jesus didn't

just fly off the handle because somebody

looked at him funny he didn't fly off

the handle because someone may be

offended him he said the Bible says

he'll for thy house will consume

me the house of God is to be a holy

place they were abusing his father's

house they were abusing the people of

God that's worth getting angry about so

we should be provoked for the right

reasons not for the wrong reasons now

let's talk about this a little bit more

why do we get annoyed why do things

bother us so much what pushes your

buttons traffic tailgaters slow drivers

if anyone thinks they don't get an

annoyed to spend some time caring for

young children and the most calm person

might lose his temper now and again your

spouse your boss what are the things

that annoy you in your life we're

talking about just to review love is not

easily angered love does not keep a

record of wrongs okay tell a little

story little family story we were in the

bathroom having our nighttime routine

and this was a great night we were all

together it's pretty rare all four of us

there and teeth are getting brushed and

people getting clean and and my little

my little five-year-old she was she was

four at the time little girl who tends

to be a very dramatic child right one

might almost say drama princess you know

this is it very dramatic she feels

things deeply and intensely and she

asked can I she was renting her mouth

with some of the the mouthwash right and

she asked can I drink this and we said

you know no that's just for rinsing then

you spit it out and then we're doing our

stuff and then we look over here ahh and

we see head back mouth open whaley LA

and tears streaming down those enormous

cheeks because she couldn't drink the

mouthwash and we were genuinely shocked

we were like whoa she still she

surprised us she was easily angered why

was she so easily angered well she was

very tired right she probably had a hard

day maybe she was a little sick and

she's she was she's four years old you

know she for and she so those the

problem is some of us are 44 or more

and we still weep over the mouthwash we

just make a big deal Nick here's another

saying for those of you second language

english learners making a mountain out

of a little molehill you take a molehill

o our god or satan vaso de agua right

you take a little thing and you make it

very very big now we do that sometimes

because we're tired some of us live a

lifestyle where we are chronically tired

no I have learned never to make a

life-changing decision on mondays okay

that's my crash a day the adrenaline of

sunday is and I'm crashing I'm tired and

I've learned whatever I'm thinking or

feeling do not put it in writing and do

not verbalize it because you won't feel

the same way tomorrow when we're tired

we're more easily angered that we all

have our own times where we're more

tired when we're tight think about it

certain muscles hurt more when you poke

them if they're extremely tight if

they're cramping up right so if you're

tight if you're tense if you're anxious

if you're in a hurry or you're nervous

about something BAM you'll just so

there's that anxiety that tightness

where we're in a hurry we're anxious

we're frustrated maybe because I can't

do this thing and then someone says

something in BAM we're easily angered at

them right so sometimes we're tired

sometimes we're tight sometimes a

certain spot hurts when you poke it

because it's been hurt before right you

have a tender spot because you got a

bruise there someone pokes you out

because it's very sensitive it's

touching a sore spot in your life well

some of us have been wounded in our

lives by people and there's things that

bother us easily because it reminds us

of something but wait a minute but he's

not that person doesn't matter he

reminds me of them and we react quickly

right because of we're sensitive a lot

of the violence that happens on the

street is because in a lot of the people

who have committed violent crime it's

because they struggle with being very

sensitive some of them are called to be

great counselors because they have

sensitive hearts but they

haven't yet gotten it submitted to the

Lord and they're too sensitive somebody

looked at me funny got a fight you know

somebody said something uh what do you

mean by that violent a lot of the

violence in our society is committed not

by hard people but by sensitive people

who just need to learn to submit that to

the Lord and then that sensitivity to

can make them just help do beautiful

things for the world so I've seen that

praise god I see that an awful lot

actually also sometimes we are easily

angered because we're insecure somebody

looks at me funny and I'm already a

little unsure of myself so I immediately

think he's looking at me that way

because he thinks he thinks I'm ugly

what it thinks is because of this is

because of that is because there's a

certain insecurity and you assume the

worst right instead of being secured

knowing I'm all right somebody looks at

me funny maybe they're having a bad day

right maybe it's not maybe it has

nothing to do with me maybe they're just

grumpy people and they would look at

anything funny but no we're sensitive so

we get angry quickly sometimes we're too

self-absorbed or like you know and we're

so into ourselves we have trouble

thinking of why a person might be doing

something many reasons we can be very

sensitive and easily angered now here's

where I'm going with this often we think

it is selfish to take care of ourselves

no to rest to take a break to take a day

off to take a nap but sometimes by you

taking care of yourself it's the most

loving thing you can do for the people

around you because what is the

atmosphere of your life right are you

the kind of person that when you come

home or you come into a place there's

this cloud around you and everyone or

because you're easily angered and

everyone around you how do they have to

behave gotta walk on his another say

you're learning oh I hope you're keeping

notes they you're probably not learning

it but you're getting a lot of good

idioms if you're learn walk on eggshells

can be nada sobre punta dito so i think

it is in spanish you got to be super

careful got to be really careful because

this person might get offended you got

to be careful around him you want people

to walk on egg

shells around you well it's better than

them giving you a hard time right some

of us cultivate grumpiness so everyone

else will be off ballads cuz well at

least they're not going to mess with me

that way let them be afraid of me right

and I could understand what could

motivate that but the whole idea they

might be careful around you but they're

not really gonna love you don't fear you

they'll fear you maybe they'll be polite

to you but is that really what we want

as Christians I don't I mean yes we

should expect respect and we should

demand it but at the same time you want

people to feel free with you that they

can relax that in your presence people

can take a deep breath their muscles can

unwind and they can open up to you

that's what we want we want to be that

kind of person we want to be a safe

person a person who cultivates calmness

and generosity if you'll turn with me to

Philippians chapter 4 Philippians

chapter 4 there's some great verses

about how to do this Philippians 4 these

verses are written to two strong female

Christian leaders who were embroiled in

a good old fashioned church fight no you

know you ever seen a church fight know

if you're a visitor and you're not a

Christian or you're new to us I hate to

break this to you fight can and do

happen in church they shouldn't but they

do feed their conflicts happen right and

there was a biggie here in the early

church so before we think we're so bad

remember that this has been going on a

long time it's what we do with it

Philippians chapter 4 verse to the

Apostle Paul is pleading with these

ladies I plead with you you odia and I

plead with sin tu que to agree with each

other in the Lord yes and I ask you a

leo fellow some lead or a person who's

trying to mediate help these women

who've contended at my side in the cause

of the gospel along with Clement and the

rest of my fellow workers whose names

are written in the book of life and then

he talks about how to change the

atmosphere because it sounds like this

conflict had spread and produced a tense

atmosphere have you ever been in a

of tension maybe at work or a home or a

church where there's a tension in the

air every little thing becomes a big

thing every little comment becomes a big

conflict tension it's not a free

atmosphere so the Apostle Paul is

teaching them how to cultivate a

different atmosphere and atmosphere of

freedom of love he says in verse 4

rejoice in the Lord always I will say it

again rejoice let's get a little humor

in this let's get some laughter let's

not take ourselves or others as

seriously as we do sometimes just need

to relax it's not the end of the world

everything is going to work out we're

going to be okay all right rejoice in

the Lord always then it says let your

gentleness be evident to all you might

be strong but you're not going to use

that strength in a negative way be

gentle the Lord is near it's God's

presence that cultivates that verse 6 do

not be anxious about anything but in

everything by prayer and petition with

Thanksgiving present your requests to

God and the peace of God that passes all

understanding will guard your hearts and

your minds in Christ Jesus as we take

those things we're stressed about we

pray about it instead of complaining we

give thanks and suddenly the air starts

to lighten and we start to feel a little

more relaxed and the atmosphere becomes

more free and we're less easily angered

and finally it says brothers whatever is

true whatever is noble whatever is right

whatever is pure whatever is lovely

whatever is admirable if anything is

excellent or praiseworthy think about

such things you know I've always read

this verse as trying to cultivate a

positive attitude in life and thinking

just about the positive in the world and

I think that's okay you know to some

degree but this is a context of

resolving a personal conflict so instead

of thinking about all the things you are

angry about it about that person all the

things you hate about that person well

is there anything good about them at all

that you can think of anything nice

about this lady anything positive

excellent praiseworthy noble let's think

about such things the word for think

there is the same word that is used in

first Corinthians 13 5 when it says love

does not keep a record of wrongs love

doesn't think about evil in the sense of

attributing evil we're going to come

back to this so cultivating a peaceful

atmosphere that my life would be such

that creates an atmosphere of freedom

and peace of generosity I learned how to

breathe in the Lord where the verse said

that says be still and know that I am

God I will be exalted in the nation's I

will be exalted in the earth God is

saying I am on my throne you can be

still there's another verse in Isaiah 32

verse 10 that says in repentance and

rest is your salvation in quietness and

Trust is your hope but then it says you

would have none of it you got on horses

and you're running around trying to get

help somewhere else cuz if you just take

a deep breath trust me I really can't

take care of things and that helps us

have an attitude that is not explosive

and easily irritated hey man we ready to

pray for that breathe it in breathe it

in okay I'm not aiming but the shoe is

fitting so please let's put it on now

let's move on the second half of first

Corinthians 15 says love keeps no record

of wrongs now again remember we said the

problem is not getting angry the problem

is that we get angry too quickly we

already talked about that and it also is

that we stay angry too long we keep a

record of wrongs you know there are

psychologists who are not Christians and

it's it's actually in style today in the

psychological field to talk about the

concept of forgiveness that's become a

hot topic can you believe it Christians

have been you know we've been working on

this for an awfully long time and now

secular psychology is seeing all the

health benefits of forgiveness and

here's the issue

anger is a good thing right we already

talked about it anger is from God it's a

mechanism God's given us to defend

ourselves when we're under attack right

if a Lions attacking you you're angry at

your fighting and your adrenaline goes

up and you fight and you focus or you

run away so anger is part of God's

survival mechanism in us but that

emotion is not supposed to human body is

not designed to carry anger except in

very small short doses to get angry and

to stay angry or to get angry too often

is like taking a drug that you're

overdosing on a drug that actually hurts

your body it puts you at risk for heart

disease put you at risk for high blood

pressure it puts you at risk for

digestive ailments for sleep disorders

all kinds of bad things happen when we

get angry and when we stay angry for too

long so even secular psychologists are

saying you know we need to learn to not

keep a record of wrongs towards other

people and that is what the verse says I

mean it's an interesting word that's

used for keeping a record of wrongs it's

the word log is this thigh which is a

word it's a mathematical accounting word

it means love doesn't take the wrong

that someone has committed into account

as love is dealing with that person let

me talk about this a little more I do I

don't know if we have any accountants in

the room but apparently the fiscal year

I did not do especially well into my

economics class but the fiscal year

ended last like a few days ago like a

week or so ago May thirtieth or

something and so sometimes people would

there are expenses that are incurred in

a business like maybe they paid for

something or wrote a check in may of

2014 but it's not cleared until June so

they need to decide as an accountant

under what year are we going to reckon

are we going to put that expense are we

going to put it under 2014 or 2015

expense but where am I going to put it

where are we going to write it down and

that makes a difference that's sort of

what this verse is saying love doesn't

take an evil committed and write it down

on like a mental accounting ledger that

we have as we deal with people see what

most of us do naturally intuitively is

when a person has done some things

especially to you to bother you you keep

you make a mental note of it may be more

than a mental note and you write it down

in your brain and every time you're

dealing with that person you're just

thinking I remember when you did this

that and the other thing and I do you

remember now to some degree that's a

good thing okay if somebody has like

been mean to you five times there's no

reason to give an opportunity to do it a

sixth time please okay so to some degree

there's nothing wrong with being wise

but it's a problem in a relationship

where you're trying to grow with a

person and all you can remember is what

she did five years ago or what he did 15

years ago and then like a prosecuting

attorney we pull it out and say remember

what you did this and that the other

thing it's like wait a minute we're

talking about I burnt the eggs this

morning and you're talking about when I

you know made a mistake 10 years ago and

we remember and we keep a record of

wrongs God is saying love takes out an

eraser and erases the list of grievances

and says clean slate let's start from

scratch here ok there's the word for it

is forgiveness for giving us interesting

one of the translations of this verse

love is not irritable or resentful if

you look up the etymology of the word to

resent is from santee day in in Latin

Spanish you know senti it or feel re you

feel it again when we resent we have

resentment the person who committed that

the grievance against us doesn't suffer

who suffers I'm the one who suffer

because I'm carrying what they did to me

I'm feeling it again and again and again

it's almost like I'm letting him hurt me

over and over and over again I'm not

getting anywhere the person went on with

their life I'm the one who's here

nursing it holding on to it letting it

make contort distort my emotions in my

feelings and God says erase the record

of wrongs learn to forgive now that's

something I want to talk about here as

we begin to to bring this home this is a

biblical concept forgive one another

just as god in christ forgave you this

is not just so we'll be healthy this is

a profoundly important commandment that

God Himself gave us if you look at the

lord's prayer itself you know that our

Father our Father who art in heaven

hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come

there's a pretty important part of it

forgive us our trespasses anyone

remember how the rest of it goes as we

forgive those who trespass against us

you can mutter it it's okay we can do

that we're Protestants but we can we can

say the Lord's Prayer still Rockets okay

it's art friar do you forgive us our

trespasses as we forgive those who

trespass against us now if you're

praying that prayer every day it means

every day you're forgiving people you're

thinking about people who annoy you on a

daily basis and if nobody annoys you on

a daily basis you're living on a desert

island all by yourself because if you're

with people then someone's going to

bother you and in church by the way if

no if no one in church has annoyed you

yet it's your first day here it really

is because and even if it's your first

day someone's probably annoyed you since

you got here right it's it's human its

natural that's why we need to forgive on

a daily basis I call that our daily

hygiene forgiveness just like how often

do you brush your teeth right I hope at

least a couple times a day right how

often why well because you eat every day

the teeth get dirty got to keep them

clean if forgiveness is the same

every day we get dirty with annoyances

every day gotta brush the brush those

teeth every day forgive us our

trespasses as we forgive those who

trespass against us another word for

this debt forgive us our debts what i

owe you god there's people when they've

wrong to me they owe me I said well I'm

gonna be like an accountant I'm gonna

cancel that debt they don't know me

anymore so on a daily basis now there's

a parable you know the parable of the

unforgiving servant and we know that

story Jesus told very intense story

about a servant who owed I don't know

what was the amount it was they owed a

hundred bucks they couldn't pay it in

those days you don't pay your debt you

could go to jail he begs the the the the

person he owes the the lender says

please forgive the debt I oh please

don't send me in my family to jail the

man says I forgive your debt I forgive

it the guy oh no I'm sorry I told the

story totally wrong here you're willing

to take a step back with me he didn't Oh

100 bucks he owed a hundred thousand

dollars right okay we're talking major

student loans going on here right only

you know hundred thousand dollars he

owed a debt he could never possibly pay

in his lifetime he was in danger of

going to jail and the lender forgave his

debt and he goes out joyful and happy

and then he finds somebody who who did

Oh him a hundred bucks and he says give

me the hundred bucks you owe me and the

guys I don't have it just give me a week

please I've got to go to work ya know to

jail he sends that guy to jail says no

you owe me and you're going to jail

until you pay the last penny now the man

who forgave him a hundred thousand

dollars called him in angry about it and

says I forgave you for a hundred

thousand dollars you wouldn't forgive

this man for 100 very often we won't

forgive because we don't realize how

much we have been forgiven we think

we're nice people who maybe deserve

God's love you don't deserve God's love

I don't deserve God's love we all have

sinned and fall short of the glory of

God God has forgiven us

and so if God has forgiven me so a debt

I couldn't pay then how much more should

I forgive others this is a profoundly

important thing now I want to talk a

little bit about what forgiveness is not

forgiveness is not the same thing as

reconciliation okay I don't need a

person to come and say they're sorry for

me to forgive them that's important to

know because there are some people who

do bad things who are not sorry right

now it's easier to forgive if someone

comes and says I'm so sorry I did that

it's much easier to forgive and we can

actually be reconciled and be friends

again but forgiveness is not about the

person who wronged me forgiveness is

about me I'm carrying this anger I want

to let it go so I can forgive

unilaterally even if they're not sorry I

can say God this is between me and you I

forgive them I let it go I don't need to

wait for them to be repentant which is a

good thing because some people are never

going to be sorry and I shouldn't have

to carry around bitterness or the wounds

that people have done just because that

person doesn't know enough to be sorry

for what they did forgiveness is not the

same as reconciliation there are some

people you should never be friends with

again okay there are some people who are

just plain out dangerous people and God

does not call you to let yourself be

abused okay there are some people who

what they did is so serious that that

relationship needs to be separate and

God wouldn't want there to be friendship

again especially this is a biggie in the

Facebook age right maybe you want to

reconcile with a member of the opposite

sex that you hurt 20 years ago and now

for facebook you can have access to

being in touch with them again maybe you

want to apologize to them maybe just

apologized to God and don't write them

because what's done is done you move on

they move on you don't need no friending

ex-flame it's okay now I can say this

because I'm I'm not on Facebook so if

you're doing it I don't know you're

doing it you know I'm blissfully

ignorant for the moment about that but

there are some people we need to not be

in contact with forgiveness is not

reconciliation but you can still forgive

you can still forgive okay and let it go

forgiveness is not condoning you don't

need to say oh well what they did really

isn't that bad so I'll erase it it

wasn't a big deal they didn't really

know maybe what they did was bad but

you're forgiving it anyway forgiveness

is not the same as seeking justice or

not seeking justice now let me explain

what I mean there are people who may be

victims of crimes and you need in your

heart to forgive the perpetrator so that

you can move on in life does that mean

you don't press charges I think that is

not the same thing when a person commits

a crime there's a debt to the person

that they victimized there's a debt also

to all of us to society that's where the

justice system comes in and there's also

a debt to God forgiveness means I

canceled my debt the debt you owe me but

you still may owe a debt to Caesar and

you certainly owe a debt to God and

that's between you and God and that's

between you and the government and and

that's those are different things that

go on justice God God says it is mine to

avenge what he says is don't take

justice into your own hands let the

government take care of justice which

hopefully they do they can at least

approximate it we pray and we insist on

the best we can and God we know is a

righteous judge and he will take care of

things in the end of the day and that's

between the person and God so now I

don't have to do it so forgive forgive

the debt I owe and maybe forgive

yourself there are some people here who

need to forgive themselves for things

they did

but they just can't let go of let it go

love others love God love yourself let

it go let it be a race let it be erased

God wants to erase it now so I would

talk about it this way forgiveness is

letting go you know it's interesting I'm

going to start with a secular definition

and then I'm going to bring a God

definition in okay secular definition

forgiveness for secular psychologists

these days there's especially a guy

named Luskan out in San Francisco that

you he's pretty good in this he says

forgiveness is letting go of the past I

always thought I wanted and deserved

okay it's letting go because of negative

things that people did to me or that

happen I didn't get to experience

certain things or experienced and bad

things I shouldn't have and I'm bitter

about that forgiveness is letting go of

the past recognizing there's nothing I

can do in the present to change the past

I'm going to let it go and I'm going to

live today fresh and I will Christianize

it the mercies of God are new every

morning great is thy faithfulness I can

have a new beginning today whatever

happened yesterday or last year 10 years

ago I can't change that but today I can

hear his voice today I can enter his

rest today let it go let it go but the

gospel goes much further than that the

gospel is about canceling a debt and

Jesus even says love your enemies and

pray for those that persecute you bless

and do not curse praying Jesus modeled

it for us on the cross when he said

Father forgive them they don't know what

they're doing it's like there's an image

of letting go of bitterness it's like

resentment is a tight fist they

shouldn't have done it I deserve to be

angry forgiveness is letting go of the

right to be angry god I let go I put

them in your hands I cancel the debt

forgiving and we see that not just Jesus

but if you've read the story of Stephen

in the Bible a man who was martyred they

were throwing stones at him Stephen

because he was preaching the gospel

as he was dying he said father do not

hold this sin against them you know who

one of the people they're supporting the

execution was a young man named Saul who

a couple chapters later God knocked him

down and said Saul Saul why do you

persecute me and he became the Apostle

Paul I believe that was an answer to

Stevens prayer when he prayed father

don't hold this sin against them I

forgive them bless them instead of

punishing them for this and he forgave

now that's big forgiveness now we talked

about brushing your teeth well this is

major dental work okay some of you know

the difference we all need to forgive

every day the little stuff the little

annoyances in a marriage and a family

and a household on the streets of Boston

at work the little things that's an

ongoing daily hygiene but we also many

of us have major major things we need to

forgive and that is not easy I believe

forgiveness is not a moment it's a

process and it's not a feeling it's a

decision by faith just say God I let go

of this before you and with time

sometimes it takes years but with time

those feelings will change and you will

feel free but it might not happen

tomorrow doesn't mean you didn't you

weren't sincere and forgiving it just

means it's a process that you need to do

over and over again and with time you're

going to be a new person you're going to

be free and I want to end with this

story and I'll invite the musicians

because after this will transition right

out of this but I want to tell a story

of something that happened when I was

traveling around Latin America I was in

the country of Nicaragua do we have any

Nicaraguans here right now no we do have

a Nicaraguan member of the church she

they're just not here today the English

ministry i mean i was in nicaragua and

for those of you most of you know the

history there was a time of terrible war

in the 70s and 80s in nicaragua between

the Sandinistas and the Contras

sandanista government took over there

was conference room there was revolution

against them it was a time of terrible

terrible bloodshed with atrocities on

both sides many of you know about this

very well

I was in Nicaragua 1998 so it was about

it was it was about eight years after

the war had pretty much died down but

the memories were fresh right you go to

a war-torn country people remember they

all have stories to tell and on this

trip it was my goal to meet as many

people as possible to learn about the

country's learn about the culture see

what God would teach me if I went to a

church and I was totally on my own in

Nicaragua and I just went to a church

and I met the pastor afterwards it was a

small church and the pastor was a

diminutive man he was he was short he

was it was just a beautiful man of God

beautiful preacher and afterwards I just

got to know him and and he said hey you

want to have lunch and I was like yeah

do i yeah so we went out for lunch and

so I'm sitting with this Nicaraguan

pastor we're having lunch and what I

usually did on this trip is I would ask

people all kinds of questions about

their life about their country about

their story and it's not that I was

being nosy is I was really in a learning

mode right and this guy was like he was

being very evasive with me he wasn't

really telling me his testimony he

wasn't really telling me his story and I

did get a duh it took me a while to

figure out maybe he doesn't want to talk

about it he was me kind of evasive so I

gave him I decided to give him some

space but a little bit into the meal I

don't know what happened but he somehow

decided he was going to trust me right

he decided he was going to tell his

story and he just started talking and he

told me that as a as a boy in Nicaragua

he and his mother had fled the country

and gone to Honduras to undo to us and

they were there and while they were

there his father was captured by the by

the sandanista government I'm not doing

this to make any kind of political

statement there were atrocities on both

sides of that terrible war but his

father was captured and was was tortured

and killed and this happened in his town

there are people who people he knew who

knew who did it he didn't know who did

it but he knew it was like he could have

found out pretty easily was not far away

he was a kid at the time I think he was

about 11 12 you know

he decided he was going to join their

work on three camps in Honduras where

they were training young men to go back

and and promote the the revolution

against the sandanista government and he

decided I'm going to be a contra and he

joins the camps right and he's training

and as a kid 13-14 training for war you

know children and war so he was training

for this and he's telling me a story and

he said I was going to go back and I was

going to get revenge for what they did

to my father and and he was sharing this

with me but when he was 14 he and his

mother started going to a church and

they became Christians right and he

decided maybe I'll wait a couple years

and then I'll go back and do it even

though he was a Christian he was still

decided to stick with his plan but then

he got baptized then he started praying

then he started coming to the altar and

crying and praying get filled with the

Holy Spirit and next thing you know he

was just like well maybe I won't go back

and join coming here I'll just stay here

and keep growing spiritually and he

stayed there for many years grew as a

Christian went back as a young young man

and he was so such a non-fire Christian

he quickly became a pastor and the

churches were decimated during that time

he became a pastor right away and he was

telling me the story and I will never

forget this moment he's looking across

it was one of those life-changing

moments he's looking across at me and

and he said I have forgiven them he said

when I when I went back there are people

who offered my mother and me to get

revenge they said we know who did it

will take care of it for you just pay us

and we'll do it and his mother said no

thank you and he said no thank you and

he said I have forgiven those people and

he will never forget you staring him

he's looking cuz now we're not eating

right I put down the fork along he's

just staring at me and he got this glow

this this Jesus glow coming out of his

face and he's saying I have forgiven

them and he said one day I will find

those men and I will share the gospel of

Jesus Christ with those men and they

will get saved

and I was just like and I just thought

you know there's a verse that says where

Jesus said blessed are the eyes that see

what you see blessed are the ears that

hear what you hear this doesn't happen

without the gospel this doesn't happen

without Jesus but it happened it was

real I met this guy I know he meant it

and in his church now in this war-torn

country there are people who were on

both sides of that conflict worshiping

Jesus together in his church which is

part of what doesn't tell his story very

often right cuz there's a pastor he

can't be over identified with one side

or the other but he pastors now people

who politically were all over the

spectrum a man of God joy love shining

from and one of the healthiest most

anointed people I've ever met my life

that can be our story too we can do this

we can't do it on our own but with with

the gospel with Jesus in our hearts we

can forgive we can let go of things and

a lot of us is that connecting the being

easily angered with the holding of

record of wrongs a lot of us are easily

angered because of a lack of forgiveness

from before so we're still tight they're

still anger the free-floating anger

we're carrying let it go let it go let

it go to Jesus maybe the person you need

to forgive you don't know where they are

the person you need to forgive may not

even be living but you can do it you can

let let it go in God's hands erase that

record of wrongs let God kill your heart