Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” — Matthew 18:21-22
The more people remind each other of who they really are, the more God’s goodness and glory echoes throughout the earth. This is the divine echo! ~ Lysa
Hi, friends! It’s week three of the Forgiving What You Can’t Forget OBS and I’m coming up against unanticipated challenges and unexpected graces as well. You too?
Just this week I helped mediate a conflict between two people whom I care about — one who had done nothing intentionally wrong and one whose response was way out-of-control angry. Friend 2 had made some assumptions about Friend 1 and things had gone wildly askew from there — with perceived intentions that were astonishingly off-base, and judgments that were wholly unfounded. That led to name-calling and relationship-ending pain with no way to ease or soothe the situation. The volcano had erupted.
Have you been there?
We, all of us, can draw very wrong conclusions from hurt or defensiveness… and those responses can lead us down very ugly, sinful paths.
The truth is that we don’t know the whole story, only God does. Sometimes, we’re wrong.
How we view the events and the people involved in circumstances that hurt us in the past determines how these experiences change us — for better or for worse. ~ Lysa
Just because we think something is true doesn’t make it true. ~ Lysa
We are all made in the image of God, just like Adam and Eve. We are sinful and fallen, easily duped into doing something dumb or hurtful, so quick to whip out a retort that will injure long-term.
And yet, we are made in the image of GOD Himself! We are His Glory in human flesh! We represent the Almighty God to one another. No wonder the enemy hates us and comes after our relationships! When people say to each other,
Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His Name together — Psalm 34:3
the enemy rages and seethes to tear it apart! That’s why he’s rabid to destroy friendships, and churches, and marriages, and Bible study groups, and Christian businesses, and any kind of people group who proclaim the name of Jesus! His whole lifeblood is to steal people away from Jesus and tear relationships asunder because together we reflect God to one another.
No wonder he hurls pride, shame, insults, slander, confusion, disgust, division, racism, sexism, etc. at us… to tempt us away from glorifying God and exalting His Name together!
God created us for “very good” (Genesis 1:31)! For love and praise. For worship!
Shame is the opposite of glorifying God. It is evidence of the work of the enemy. ~ Lysa
Seeing people as made in the image of God, loved by God, magnifies God. ~ Lysa
In order to allow God the #1 spot in our lives, we have to refuse to allow any part of our hearts to hate another human being. We must forgive them no matter what they’ve done or said with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and help.
Even if they keep striking at us.
Even if they keep hating us.
Our job is to forgive. Before God. That’s the holy work ahead of us as we live in the divine echo proclaiming His glory on planet Earth. Are you in?
You are made in the holy image of God, designed by God, loved by God. ~ Lysa
Week Three Statement:
We can’t change what we have experienced, but we can choose how the experiences change us.
This week in your study:
- Then, watch the video for session three of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget on our study home and take notes in your study guide on pages 64-71 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 72-89.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You! We need You to help us forgive. Holy Spirit, speak to us when our emotions run hot, when we feel sharply stung, when someone bumps into our hearts and we feel traumatized. We don’t want to hurt people or break relationships because every single person is an image bearer. We want to glorify You or amplify Your Name and Your Kingdom! Help us to speak peace and kindness. Help us to forgive immediately. Help us to be people of peace. We love You. Amen.