The Long Haul Part 3: Forgiveness
ICE BREAKER: During worship, Bryce talked about how God doesn’t just give goodness or show goodness but God IS
good, He IS love, He IS mercy. What is the difference between doing versus being?
1. Forgiveness was defined as, “choosing to let go of anger or resentment towards someone or yourself, to surrender
thoughts of revenge, and to move forward with your personal power intact.” Forgiveness is not for the other person
but for you to find freedom from the pain of the past, to release the burden of bitterness, to not be attached to
unhealthy people’s words or actions. What are your thoughts about this definition? How do you define forgiveness?
2. The number one reason we DON’T forgive is because we do not believe the other person is worthy of our
forgiveness. But when it’s not about the other person, but when it’s about you, it changes the question. The real
question isn’t is the other person is worthy of our forgiveness the question is are YOU worthy of the freedom that
forgiveness brings. Does this change your definition or perspective on forgiveness?
3. You cannot have a heart of commitment and a heart that is unwilling to forgive as the same time. If you do not
address the resentment in your heart then you will ultimately resign, you will quit on your commitment. You cannot
love and keep account of offenses, holding onto grudges. 1 Corinthians 13:5 “It does not demand its own way. It is not
irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Do you struggle with keeping a scorecard? How does this affect a
4. Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves due to failures or disappointments. Do you find it harder to forgive yourself
or others? Why?
5. Two lies that keep us from having a forgiving heart and one truth that will set us free from unforgiveness.
a. I am a martyr: “I obeyed all of your commands.” Believing I have done more than anyone else.
b. I am a victim: “you never gave me a goat.” Blaming someone else for our failures
c. I am empowered: “Everything I have is yours” Everything the Father has is ours. He has withheld no good
things from us (Psalm 84:11)
Do you struggle with a martyr or victim mentality? How does knowing the Father has empowered you through
the Holy Spirit allow you to be free from being bound by unforgiveness?
Luke 15:11-24 NLT – The Prodigal Son and Luke 15:25-32 NLT – The Brothers Response
Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,
and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the
fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His
father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single
thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when
this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to
celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”