Sermon Summary

This week during our 11:00 service, guest preacher Charlie Sweet brought a powerful word on the power of unforgiveness. Charlie shared how the body of Christ has become clouded and disengaged through the pandemic, and that it is time for us to reengage. One way that we can do this is to embrace, practice, and walk in forgiveness. When we forgive, we align ourselves with God’s word and his will regardless of how we feel. Without forgiveness, there will be no breakthrough for us to move forward in victory and peace.

Mark 11:25

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Ephesians 4:31-32

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, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness comes from the one hurt by canceling the debt owed. There is no need for participation from the perpetrator. You forgive to free yourself from those who hurt you, whether there is reconciliation or not. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to offer mercy.

Why must we forgive?

Forgiveness is important because it gives you the ability to breakthrough and move on in life. Being unforgiving ties you to your past hurts and makes it difficult to breakthrough life situations and relationships. Wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness, and even vengeance. The failure to forgive has the ability to cause all sorts of physical, spiritual, and emotional ailments. To walk in unforgiveness is to sin against God. 

“Real forgiveness is always a minor miracle.”

Matthew 6:9-15

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Why do we not forgive? 

  1. We get to punish our perpetrator.
  2. To not forgive is the best revenge.
  3. We hold onto the belief that we’re better than the other person.
  4. We now have juicy gossip about what they did to us.
  5. The offense is always in the back of your mind to pull it out & share when the occasion presents itself.

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C.S. Lewis

7 Steps to Forgiveness

  1. Acknowledge that you’ve been hurt or hurt another.
  2. Confess that you have sinned against your loving God.
  3. Acknowledge that God, instead of retaliating against you, allowed His son to pay for your sin on the cross.
  4. Face the fact that unless you forgive all others, God can’t forgive you.
  5. With God’s help, make a conscious decision to forgive.
  6. Ask daily for God to give you the power to forgive (if you’ve been abused, it may take months or years for God to drain off all your resentment).
  7. As God releases you from the prison of resentment, ask if He wants you to notify your former enemy that he has been forgiven

Discussion Questions

  1. What is your first instinct and response when you are hurt or offended?
  2. Pastor Charlie said that “an unforgiving heart will short-circuit the power of prayer.” Can you think of a time your prayer life suffered because of unforgiveness in your heart?
  3. What does it look like practically to walk in forgiveness? When a moment of offense comes up, how can we be ones who make a conscious choice to forgive and let go?
  4. Do you agree that walking in unforgiveness is a sin against the Lord? Share why you agree or disagree.

Application Questions

  1. Do you struggle with unforgiveness? Share the specifics of this struggle with a friend or mentor this week and get prayer.
  2. When you hear the word “unforgiveness”, is there a specific person or circumstance that comes to mind? Repent of your unforgiveness toward that individual this week and release him or her to the Lord. Ask God to uproot the unforgiveness in your heart and walk forward in the opposite spirit.