Learning on The Way
1. Forgiveness is not about me forgetting what’s been done to me. Forgiveness is my choice to remember what Christ already did. Is your first response to focus on being sinned against or to focus on what Christ has already done on the cross? How would making this your focus change the way you interact with your spouse? With your friends, roommates, and co-workers?
2. In the parable in Matthew, there is an expectation that if someone has been forgiven they will extend forgiveness. Forgiven people forgive others. Where is it a struggle for you to forgive? Do you think the struggle is with that person or situation or with you not really understanding just how much God has forgiven you of?
3. We must refuse to let all the sin in our relationship define or defile the whole relationship. When have you chosen to let the sin define and defile a relationship in your life? Have you ever chosen to pile up the “cow pies” between you and the other person so that they never forget? So that you can claim the high ground out of spiritual pride? When have you chosen to intentionally not let sin defile or define a relationship?
4. We have to stop expecting payment and choose to absorb the cost of the other person’s sin. How do unrealistic expectations hinder you from extending forgiveness? Do you choose to absorb the payment with a loving heart or out of resignation and resentment, as a martyr?
Extras this week:
Before Sunday ended I was asked the question, “Do I have to forgive someone that does not repent?”
They had been taught that forgiveness is a conditional thing that is not based on us but is based upon what other person does ie. repentance.
For those that have been taught this position, I would encourage you to Listen to Dr. Ernie Baker discuss the two positions.
The first is Conditional Forgiveness the second is Lavish Forgiveness.
This is a teaching. It is not a sermon.
So it is more technical with explanations of the greek but I think it is very beneficial for you to hear and wrestle with.
The quote from Momentary Marriage for question 3 if you didn’t hear the sermon:
―Picture our marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy… But before long, you begin to step in cow pies. Some seasons of your marriage they may seem to be everywhere. Late at night, they are especially prevalent. These are the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits in you and in your spouse. You try to forgive them and endure them with grace. But they have a way of dominating the relationship. It may not even be true, but sometimes it feels like that’s all there is—cow pies [that’s manure piles –for those of you that didn‘t grow up on a farm]. Noel and I have come to believe that the combination of forbearance and forgiveness leads to the creation of a compost pile. That’s where you shovel the cow pies.
You both look at each other and simply admit that there are a lot of cow pies. But you say to each other: ‘You know, there is more to this relationship than cow pies. And we are losing sight of that because we keep focusing on these cow pies. Let’s throw them all in the compost pile. When we have to, we will go there and smell it and feel bad and deal with it the best we can.’ And then we are going to walk away from that pile and set our eyes on the rest of the field. We will pick some favorite paths and hills that we know are not strewn with cow pies. And we will be thankful for the part of the field that is sweet.
Our hands may be dirty. And our backs may ache from all the shoveling. But one thing we know: We will not pitch our tent by the compost pile. We will only go there when we must. This is a gift of grace that we will give each other again and again and again…. This Momentary Marriage, John Piper; p. 59