Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, October 27th. Do you tend to hide your hurts and blame others for your heartache? Believers in Jesus need to respond differently by extending mercy and forgiving hurts we don't deserve. Somebody hurt you yesterday, a year ago, a lifetime ago. You didn't deserve it and you can't forget it. The pain still remains in your heart and the memories still lodged in your mind, still lodged there like concrete, it seems to be stuck. Somehow you can't get rid of it. And just when you think it's all over and gone and you've forgotten it, it keeps cropping up again.
And there it is. You don't know what makes you remember it. But every time you think about it, there's something of pain that shoots through your emotion. When you remember how deeply you were hurt, how unjustly and unfairly you were treated.
You didn't deserve that kind of treatment, but you got it. And while you'd like to think that you've forgotten it, somehow you can't seem to forget it. It's just lodged there, it's stuck in your mind and the part of your emotions. And not only that, you've allowed it to fester over the years and so it's grown. And because you can't see it, you think, well, it's no longer there, but it's there. And every day it oozes out a little bit more poison in your life.
Poisons your system physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally, it's there. There are many people who really believe in their heart that they have forgiven those old hurts and those old past memories are gone with the years that time has healed them all. But time does not heal, unforgiven hurts. Deep hurtful memories are not healed simply with time.
They just sort of lay there and they grow and their venom keeps spewing out day after day after day. And the many people who sit in church pews week after week, who really are believers, who've been born again by the grace of God, but who have an unforgiving spirit, because of old hurts, the old past unhealed memories that are still there and somehow they've either not learned to deal with them, they're too painful to deal with, or they just rather avoid the issue. So I want to give you a little warning in the beginning of this message that it's not going to be easy.
There are two ways to look at problems like this. One of them is you can keep on running from them or you can be man enough or woman enough to deal with them. But when you and I have to deal with old hurts and old past memories, it is painful.
There's no bandaid, no little mercuricrome that'll just polish it over and color it up and make it better. It has to be carved out and nobody else can carve that out of your heart. It's something that you have to do for yourself as I have to do for my own. You'll never be free till you're healed of those old past memories of hurts. And I want to show you today how you can be set free. Some of you for the first time in your life, if you will listen carefully and intently, if you'll be wise enough to get yourself a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper, there's some things you need to jot down if you want to be free so you'll not forget them.
You won't remember it all. So much of it you desperately need to remember so you can apply it to your life. And so the title of this message is Forgiving Hurts We Don't Deserve. Forgiving hurts we don't deserve. And if you'll turn to Ephesians chapter 4, and I want us to read two verses that have to do with this matter of our hurts, our unforgiving spirit and our forgiveness. Paul says in verse 31, Listen, let all bitterness, that is smoldering resentments, let all bitterness and wrath, violent outbreaks of our wrath and anger and anger and clamor, outcries of passion and slander be put away from you along with all malice, that is our intention, our desire to injure someone else, something we desire to do, we intend to do.
That's what malice is. Then he says, and put all of that away and then be kind to one another. Tend to hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Now all of us have been hurt. We're going to be hurt again. My friends, you can't live in this life and you can't love without being hurt. One of the risks you and I take in loving someone else is the risk that we're going to be hurt. If you don't love them and you don't care, hurt doesn't come very easy. But when you love someone with all of your heart, you're more susceptible to being hurt. And so all of us are going to be hurt.
We can't avoid that. But the question is not how to avoid hurt, but how do I deal with the hurt that I feel? And so I want to give you two things out of this scripture, two points, if you'll jot them down. Several things in this passage that will be extremely helpful to you if you will write them down and if you will review them and test yourself in some of these areas. First of all, hurts we don't deserve often give rise or give birth to an unforgiving spirit. Hurts we don't deserve often give birth to an unforgiving spirit. Now listen to what Paul says in this fourth chapter.
Look at these words. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. Are not these the expressions of hurt?
When someone is hurt, they grow bitter. Full of wrath and anger and clamor and slander and malice, wanting to do the other person wrong. Are these not the indications of an unforgiving spirit that a person has?
And the very opposite of that he says is to be tender hearted and kind and forgiving one another even as Christ Jesus has forgiven us. So when you look at that list, could you detect any bitterness in your heart? Wrath toward anyone? Anger? Any resentfulness?
Any malice? Is there anyone you'd like to get back at? Take vengeance upon, repay that you want to hurt just like you've been hurt.
If there is, more than likely, you have an unforgiving spirit. So I want to give you three little points if you'll jot them down, how you can test to see if your hurt has developed into a matter of hate toward someone else. First of all, if you hate someone, you cannot shake the memory. You cannot shake the memory of how much they have hurt you. If you hate someone, you cannot shake the memory of how much they have hurt you. Secondly, if you hate them, you cannot wish them well. You just can't.
There's something inside of you that's frozen. You cannot wish them well. And thirdly, if you really and truly hate them, your hurt has moved into hate. Somehow, you want them to hurt the same way you hurt. You want them to feel the same hurt that you have felt. You want them to suffer as much as possible the same degree that you have suffered. So that you see, you cannot just allow yourself to be hurt and say, well, it'll go away because unless it is dealt with promptly and properly, it's going to develop into hatred. And hatred says, I cannot forget the way I was hurt. I cannot wish you well. And the truth is, I want you to hurt. I want you to suffer.
I want you to feel just what I felt. Now, you and I know that that kind of attitude can be nothing but disastrous. That it's out of keeping with the child of God. It's out of keeping with who we are, what we believe. And you and I know that that kind of attitude can only poison our whole system. It poisons us in every area of our life, hurt, moving into hatred. Now, there are two kinds or two degrees of hatred.
One is passive and one is aggressive. Passive hatred says, I don't like him. I don't want to be around him. I want to avoid him. That person is obnoxious to me. So that doesn't sound very passive.
Well, it's active, but it is passive. Whereas aggressive hatred is looking for ways to retaliate. Aggressive hatred is looking for some way to take out our vengeance, to repay the other person, to cause them to hurt just as deeply as we hurt and we look for ways to bring that about in their life.
Now, let me ask you a question. You ever hated anybody? Oh, at first you said, hate, not I, but deep down inside, if you ever really wanted to retaliate, you wanted somebody to hurt just like you hurt, you couldn't wish them well. In fact, no way in the world could you forget the way they have hurt you. Let's examine this matter of an unforgiving spirit a moment.
And what we want to ask, first of all, is what causes that? Well, you say, well, I'll tell you exactly what causes me to have an unforgiving spirit. And that is, if they had not hurt me the way they hurt me, I would not have an unforgiving spirit.
I want you to listen carefully. Nobody, nobody has the power to make you have an unforgiving spirit. The hurts that you and I feel may be the seed bed that grows into hurts, into hatreds, into an unforgiving spirit. But an unforgiving spirit is what you and I choose. That's how I choose to respond to the person who hurt me by being unforgiving. That person can't make me feel the way I feel. Nobody can make you feel unforgiving.
Nobody can make you feel hatred. You and I respond to our hurts. And if we don't respond properly, we will have an unforgiving spirit.
So an unforgiving spirit is an attitude that I choose as a result of responding in the wrong way, in the wrong manner to someone who has hurt me deeply, treated me unfairly, treated me unjustly, sent something into my life that I feel that I did not deserve. And so what happens is we want to blame someone else. And so this is our escape.
Well, God, if they hadn't done it, I wouldn't have felt this way. And Lord, I know that you understand why I feel what I feel. No, he doesn't.
Oh, let's put it this way. He understands, but he is not in agreement with it. Jesus Christ will never agree with your unforgiving spirit.
You know why? Because the day you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you said to him in that day, I do believe that you have taken all of my sin past, present, and future upon your shoulders on the cross. Therefore, setting me free from the penalty of my sin, the day you received Jesus Christ as your savior, you forfeited all of your rights, my friend, to hold hatred against anybody, to have an unforgiving spirit to anyone, because how can you and I be unforgiving toward anyone else when Jesus Christ is so absolutely forgiving toward us?
There is no way. And so all of our excuses about our unforgiving spin all of our defenses, all of our explanations to God and all of our continuous reminding him of how we've been hurt, how painful it has been, the awesome memories of these things, none of these impress God. All the Father's going to say to you, when you tell him how deeply you've been hurt, He's going to say to you, look at the cross. And when you see His Son blooded up with spikes in His hands, blooded up with a javelin in His side, blooded up with a crown of thorns upon His head, the blood dripping in His eyes, down His cheek, down His body, down that old wooden Roman cross, how in the world can you and I ever say, but God, I have a right to be unforgiving toward this person?
Not really. You see, the cross strips us of all of our rights to hold an unforgiving spirit. We have no rights to do it. If God the Father's that willing to forgive us, how can we withhold forgiveness toward someone else? So when you and I hold an unforgiving spirit toward someone else, we're simply destroying ourselves. There is a very, very slow burn that goes on when you and I have an unforgiving spirit. It goes on sometimes for years, but it goes on. Because you see, an unforgiving spirit is not something that just goes on with no side effects.
It has many effects. What do you suppose the reasons are that you and I have an unforgiving spirit? Is it because of the degree to which someone has hurt us?
Not really. There are three primary reasons you and I are unforgiving toward others. Number one is our pride.
Well, if you just knew what they had done to me, so what? Look what we did to Jesus at the cross. So first of all is pride. Second is selfishness.
We want it our way. And that is, we think they've wronged us, and we think they need to correct that, and on and on we go. I and our own selfish, self-centered spirit, waiting for somebody else to change, waiting for something else to happen in their life, and what happens, the burn keeps going. And then thirdly, there is ignorance. Some people do not understand what happens when hurt develops into hatred, and unforgiving spirit develops, and so there it is.
They don't know how to handle it. They don't know how to respond to hurts and these old memories the way they should, and so therefore, they suffer even as those who know better. Now, what are the consequences of an unforgiving spirit? Deep down inside of you, there is seething, this bitter, resentful animosity and anger and hostility towards somebody in your past.
Maybe yesterday, maybe a week ago, maybe a month ago, maybe a year ago. You say, it's not there any longer because time is healed if time doesn't heal it. So what's one of the consequences of an unforgiving spirit? The first consequence is this, emotional bondage. A person who is unforgiving will find themselves wrapped up in anger, incarcerated by their own hostility, dammed up on the inside by pent-up emotions they cannot express because they're so angry and unforgiving, and the memories of their past hurts. Those memories keep replaying in their mind.
It's like daily at some point during the day, they punch the button and the tape goes on, and sometimes that person will experience something and think, why did I do that? Why do I feel this way when this happens in my life? Why do I react toward people like that the way I do? They won't understand what's going on, and what's going on is those emotional hurts of the past are still there lingering, and they have them caught and bound. You see, an unforgiving spirit will freeze you out, freeze out your capacity to relate to other people, freeze out your capacity to love someone else, freeze out your capacity to be loved, to receive love from someone else. My friend, that's why you can't afford to let your hurts become an unforgiving spirit. You can't afford the damage to your life and the damage to those about you.
So first of all, there is emotional bondage. We just can't feel, we just can't be, we just can't do. Secondly, it damages our relationships through others because you see, an unforgiving spirit spills over on everybody, spills over in your family, the people you work with, your friends. At times in your life, they have to walk around you because of your attitude. You can't afford to have an unforgiving spirit. Thirdly, it damages your relationship with the Lord. Imagine coming to the Lord Jesus and saying, now Lord, I just want to thank you for your forgiveness to me, and I'm coming to you and asking you to forgive me for my mistake today, for my sin today.
You know what happens? When a person with an unforgiving spirit comes to the Lord, I'll tell you exactly what happens. That old memory and that old hurt and that old unforgiving spirit, that person keeps coming up.
There's no way, my friend, to have an unforgiving spirit and be able to get down before the Lord and pray without the Spirit of God bringing that person up. Because you see, it is a memory lodged in the mind. It is a hurt that is painful. You feel it. You may try to suppress it.
You may try to deny it, but it's there. And what happens is our emotions get damaged, our relationships get damaged, and our relationship with the Lord is damaged, which leads me to the next point. Not only does it damage our relationship with the Lord, our emotions, our relationships to others, but it damages us physically.
You put an overload on your nervous system, and you and I were not built to carry anger, hostility, bitterness, resentment, and guilt. It's going to come out sooner or later. You're going to blow a fuse in some fashion. And one of these days, you're going to have a volcanic eruption, not just out of your mouth, but in your body.
There's going to be an outlet. That is, it's in your mind. You say, well, it's just in my mind, friend. Everything in your mind gets down into every other part of your body sooner or later because it is from your mind that all the messages to all the other organs of your body, that's where they get their message. If you start saying, I feel sick.
If I were to walk up to you and I said to you, man, you look sick. I guarantee you, if a person will believe that for about 60 seconds, their feelings about themselves will change because the mind, having received the message, sends the message out, you are sick. The mind has more effect over the body than you and I give it credit for. Now, that's good because that's the way God made the body. But I'm telling you, an unforgiving spirit is going to make you sick ultimately.
It's going to get you physically, ultimately. That's God's ultimate way of finally getting your attention if you won't deal with it any other way. And some people even then refuse to deal with bitterness and resentment, hostility, and unforgiving spirit because it's too painful to deal with. Thank you for listening to Forgiving Hurts We Don't Deserve. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-05 22:50:09 / 2022-11-05 22:54:47 / 5