What is unconditional forgiveness

Learn to love. Lesson 7. Unconditional Forgiveness


1 Learning to Love Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness INTRODUCTION I. In the last lesson we learned a biblical way of building people's self-esteem by accepting one another. II. III. Today is about treating others with love by offering them unconditional forgiveness. A. I understand that unconditional forgiveness is a great challenge and a high level in love. B. I admit that I too had to struggle with this high level of love. C. When the situation has reached a certain tension, it is easy to say out of desperation: I am not God! But our ability to love must keep growing by accepting new challenges. A. It's like the high jump where the bar always has to be raised a bit to challenge the athlete so that he can progress. B. Generally we all know what love is or would be, right? C. But our goal is to learn more how this love is applied every day! D. Therefore we want to expand our thoughts in love. MAIN PART I. Revenge A. When we feel unjustly treated, we are quick to think of revenge. 1. How can we get back at someone? 2. As we do this, do we realize the difficulty of getting righteous retribution? B. A university professor tried to teach his students how to do problem analysis. 1. Each student should write down their thoughts. 2. A young student wrote about her boyfriend who she felt was being treated unfairly. 3. When the professor read her written remarks, he called the student over and asked what she wanted to do now to get rid of her feelings: a) She said she was considering slitting the tires of his sports car for her boyfriend ! b) Good, said the professor, let's think about it! (1) How many tires would it have to be? (2) Should it be all four tires, or would three be enough? c) The professor suggested: How about slitting open three tires and just letting the air out of the fourth? (1) Would you be even then? asked he. (2) But what if your friend finds out what you've done and thinks your act of revenge is unjustified? he asked further. d) Should she then expect a retaliatory strike? e) How serious could the consequences be in the end? 4. With questions such as these, the professor wanted to show the young student how difficult it is to exercise righteous retribution.

2 Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness Page This somewhat exaggerated example is meant to show us how difficult it is to get even with injustices. 6. People sometimes do the craziest things to get revenge. 7. Does that improve the situation or the relationship? By no means! C. We live in a world where forgiveness has become insignificant! 1. People forget and do not forgive one another. On the contrary! 2. It is as if society is storing everything that has happened negatively, as if it does not allow any mistakes. II. The God of Second Chance A. Thank God that our Creator is very different and shows us his grace. 1. The gracious God is known to us as God, the second chance. 2. In the Bible we read that whoever confesses and repents his sins before God does not experience condemnation but his grace (1 Jn 1,8 2,2). 3. God even takes pleasure in being gracious and forgiving us our debts (Mi 7:18). Incomprehensible! B. In Psalm 103: 11b we read: As high as the heavens are above the earth, so mighty is his grace on those who fear him. C. Through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah saith the Lord (Jer 31,34b): I will forgive their guilt, and I will think no more of their sins. D. Praise be to the Lord, the second chance! III. Forgiving Our Children A. Many find it difficult to forgive because they did not learn to forgive themselves in childhood. 1. Anyone who asks for forgiveness in the world is considered weak. 2. Who wants to admit that they are weak? 3. Rather, most learn very early in their childhood that they should be strong and develop a good level of self-confidence, to justify themselves quickly and to skillfully pull themselves out of the affair. a) Quick-wittedness is a sign of good self-confidence. b) But this attitude is not helpful in every life situation. c) The older we get, the more we have to learn to apologize, otherwise we will get from one problem to another. 4. Even as parents or grandparents, we should be big enough to apologize to a child and say: a) I'm sorry, I made a mistake. b) Please forgive me. 5. These are important life lessons for children, during which we do not lose a bit of respect and respect. a) That teaches them to stand by their mistakes as well. b) In this way they are confronted with human imperfection and learn to forgive themselves and others. B. That should have changed in our modern times. 1. Unfortunately it didn't. 2. Too often children learn a false authority from their parents. 3. No wonder if they often have so difficult later in their relationships, where separation is easier than forgiveness and a new beginning. C. It's not just about asking children for forgiveness, it's also about treating them generously when they do something wrong. 1. Through us they learn to know God's grace. 2. We shouldn't expect too much from children, but rather forgive them a lot.

3 Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness Page Children's phases are short and intense. 4. You are demanding of them and forcing them to learn and grow on different levels. 5. It is very important, however, that they learn early on to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. 6. This increases the ability to endure tension better and not always to be as quick to snap as is the case with many people today. 7. Because if you want to maintain long-lasting relationships, you have to have a short memory. D. The more we take these fundamental principles to heart, the less lonely we will feel in old age. IV. Forgiving Our Spouse A. The same principle applies in marriage. 1. It is especially important in a marriage that we willingly apologize and keep zeroing the counters. 2. Only in this way can a marriage be long-lasting if both are willing to forgive each other again and again. 3. Of course, this also means that a serious request for forgiveness is followed by a change. 4. Everything else would be hypocritical. B. The better this principle of unconditional forgiveness is followed, the more likely a marriage is to survive. 1. God's Word teaches us to be understanding and forgiving one another. 2. To forgive also means to put on one side and not to bring it out again. 3. To add something to one another and to hold them back later destroys every relationship. C. But there is another aspect of forgiveness. 1. Why do people often find it difficult to forgive one another? 2. Because they are often taken by the wrong opinion that they agree with someone. 3. But forgiveness has nothing in common with being right or wrong! a) Many people mistakenly believe that refusing to forgive hurts others. b) But the opposite is the case! c) It is we who pay the price for not forgiving. d) For the cancer of bitterness will grow in us. 4. Especially when there is no prospect of a solution to the problem and the other person does not see what to apologize for, then it is important to let go and forgive. a) Then the time has come when we should turn the dispute over to the Lord. b) It is like removing a stone from our backpack and handing it over to Jesus (1 Pet 5,7): Throw all your worries on him, because he takes care of you. c) God lets us say (Rom 12:19): Do not take vengeance yourself, my beloved, but give room to God's wrath! For it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will retaliate, says the Lord. d. Why shouldn't we create retribution for ourselves? Because God wants us to be focused on the good and not the bad. e) Romans 12:21: Do not allow yourself to be conquered by evil, but instead defeat evil with good.

4 Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness p. 38 f) The Lord will look after our cause and get us retribution in His own way. V. Forgiving Our Parents A. Another group of people we should learn to forgive are our parents. 1. Perhaps I will hit your sensitive point with this. 2. For a long time I also had a big problem with my father, by whom I felt that I was treated unfairly. 3. He often made my life unnecessarily difficult and he didn't believe enough in me and my good abilities. 4. As a child, I often had nightmares in which my father's voice grew closer and fiercer as I tried to run away but couldn't. 5. I often woke up frightened and drenched in sweat during the night. 6. Later, when my father apologized in old age, it was no use to me for what he had done to me. 7. I had forgiven him and by faith I have long since outgrown this pain. B. I believe that many abused adults remember the injuries, major and minor, from their childhood. 1. This pain must be dealt with, if necessary with a psychiatrist! 2. Because such painful memories can seriously affect our lives in the future. 3. Embittered and hurt people will find it difficult to love and forgive others. 4. This can have negative consequences, especially when it comes to raising children, for the new generation that is growing up. 5. It is necessary that everyone learn to come to terms with the negative past of their own childhood. 6. In many cases it is enough for us to pray with Heavenly Father to discuss our needs, fears, and hurts and learn to put them aside. C. Because God has forgiven us through Jesus Christ, we too can become able to forgive others and send them thoughts of love. It is important that we first express or write our hurts and admit them openly. 2. Perhaps we too have made mistakes in the past that we want to confess to the Lord. 3. It is important that we take the past injuries seriously and work to throw everything negative and burdensome overboard in faith. 4. There is a simple test of how we can tell if we have actually forgiven someone. a) This test consists of a simple question with a short answer. b) Have I wished the person who hurt me a blessing and sent them thoughts of love? c) If I have not already done so, then it is time to sit down and pray intensely for this person, wish them blessings and send thoughts of love. d) Only then do we often feel really released and healed. 2 1 Even if the person has already died or if reconciliation is impossible. 2 Very often, however, a lot more work is required by a specialist!

5 Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness Page We can collect injuries like postage stamps, or we can throw them overboard in conversation with God. a) There are many injuries and pains in life. b) But the Lord is there and ready to listen to us at any time and to free us from everything that prevents us from being happy. c) The faster we get into conversation with God, the faster we can put away the injuries and pain. D. Unconditional forgiveness is not an option, it is God's command! 1. Colossians 3: 12-13: As God's chosen saints and beloved ones, clothe yourselves with tender mercy, goodness, humility, meekness and patience! Bear each other out and forgive one another if one has something to reproach the other for. As the Lord has forgiven you, you too should forgive! 2. The Lord will show us a way out because He doesn't want us to be frustrated, nor does He ask us to do the impossible. 3. The goal of the devil is to isolate us and to pretend that we have a particularly big problem and that we are the only ones in the world who would have to endure something so bad. E. But there are some people who also have to learn to forgive God. 1. Many are shocked to hear this, but isn't it true that many people blame God for the problems they experience in life? a) You ask yourself: Why did God allow this? b) You don't understand why God gives you this or that temptation? 3 2. So when we hold God responsible for so many negative things in life, it is important that we forgive the Lord in order to find inner peace in our hearts. 3. The Lord will understand us in all our needs! VI. Forgiving is not always easy A. Everyone will be more seriously injured sooner or later in their life. 1. Forgiving someone is not always easy. 2. It usually demands a lot from the person who has been injured. 3. Every injury must be taken seriously and treated as quickly as possible, otherwise it can ignite and cause greater damage to our soul. 4. The treatment takes time and energy, but it is better than thinking that it will heal on its own. B. We would do well to listen to Jesus, who enlightened us, with the words (Mt 6: 14-15): For if you forgive people their wrongdoings, then your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people, then your Father will not forgive your wrongdoings either. 1. I am firmly convinced that God does not allow human beings to face temptations that cannot be endured, but that with the temptation will also create the way out to overcome them (1 Cor 10:13). 2. For God is faithful and good to all his creatures! C. I recently read about a man who threw a stone at his dog and broke one of his legs. 1. The dog limped whimpering to his master, lay down at his feet and began to lick the hand that threw the stone at him. 2. This is forgiveness at its finest! 3. If we learn to cultivate this attitude in our life, then we will revolutionize the world around us with the love that God has for us. 3 James 1: 13-17.

6 Lesson 7 Unconditional Forgiveness Page 40 CONCLUSION I. So, let's understand this important lesson of love! A. It will help us raise the high jump bar. B. It will free us from unnecessary stones in our backpack. C. It will make us more able to treat others with love. D. It will revolutionize our world! II. III. These thoughts help me again and again to come to terms with the past and to live in peace with God and people. May the Holy Spirit of God also strengthen your love muscles and bless your efforts towards unconditional forgiveness!