Where Mercy Never Ends

Matthew 18:21-35

The Forgiving Community makes Jesus’ acts of forgiveness real in our lives.

Some ways to do that are:
Exercise 1: Ask for help to forgive someone who is difficult to forgive
• Name (to yourself) the person who has harmed you so much, that it is difficult, if not impossible to forgive
• Ask a close friend who is a follower of Christ to pray 10 minutes/day for the person you can’t forgive and for you.
• Know that the pressure to forgive is removed. Your friend is bearing this burden for you (Colossians 3:13).

Exercise 2: Practice the 4 parts of the forgiveness process* (Note that this does not happen in order. You may do these in any order, with any amount of repetitions necessary.)
• Express the emotion – How did the act of injustice against you make you feel?
• Understand why – Try to gain new awareness of the person who hurt you. This may take time and much prayer, and does not necessarily involve talking with the person.
• Rebuild safety – Do what it takes to be reasonably secure the act will not happen again. Whether that means imposing strict relational boundaries, a sincere apology, or anything in between.
• After you have made your way through the first 3 parts, then make a decision to let go. “Letting go is making a promise (to yourself or a person holding you accountable) to not hold a grudge.”

Exercise 3: Find a new perspective on the Lord’s Supper
Meditate 10 minutes (or more) each day on Jesus’ words and acts of forgiveness in his life, death and resurrection:
– Luke 1:76-79
– Matthew 6:9-15
– Matthew 9:1-8
– Matthew 18:21-22 (or 18:21-35)
– Matthew 26:26-29
– Luke 23:32-34
– Luke 24:45-49
*From: Howes, Ryan. “Four Elements of Forgiveness,” http://www. psychologytoday.com/blog/in-therapy/200909/four-elements-forgiveness