Harmony is difficult. When it comes to music, each person must be in sync for there to be true harmony. When it is done right, there will be a sound pleasing to ears. When it comes to people, harmony means that we live with a peace, that we understand each other. This understanding is like an agreement and it requires integrity, humility, and respect of others.
Roman 12 mentions this pride that gets in the way of enjoying others. Some people get too puffed up to hang out or associate with certain people. This person may look down on others who don’t match up with their self-righteous standards. Thus, being around “ordinary people” is dreaded. The passage then warns not to consider yourself a know-it-all, because once again you’ll be puffed up. You’ll have this desire to make everyone see that you are right, even if it means hurting another.
We are to live in peace with everyone. We are to be peacekeepers. Jesus was always right, but He was also always humble. It was never about being right. Remember, harmony requires humility. Don’t worry about getting in the last word. Listen more. Speak less, and speak life when speaking. Take the time to invest in everyone, even the ordinary. God came among the ordinary. He loves the ordinary. You just may find that the company of the ordinary is a great blessing. Do all you can to try to live in peace with everyone. Harmonious living is the unity that Jesus desired for His bride.
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:16, 18 [NLT]
More Than a Story is a 12 week study of the parables of Jesus. This is the second week: FORGIVENESS.
[The Unforgiving Debtor: Matthew 18:21-35]
Unforgiveness is the POISON we drink hoping another will die
When you hold tight to an unforgiving spirit you slowly die to TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS – PRISONER
Peter came and asked “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (v. 21b ESV)
He thought he was being extra generous with his forgiveness because Jewish law said to forgive a person three times.
Jesus answered “Seventy-seven times.”
“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33 ESV)
Mercy – eleeó (el-eh-eh’-o) – pity, have mercy on, show mercy, have compassion
These people begged for mercy:
- 26 says “the servant fell on his knees, imploring” the king
- 29 says “his servant fell down and pleaded with” the forgiven servant
Each of us is forgiven because of Jesus. Jesus paid the debt.
“But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” – Matthew 6:15 [HCSB]
- Remember how much you’ve been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)
- Don’t try to get even (Romans 12:19)
- Respond to evil with good (Luke 6:27)
- Pray for those who persecute you (Luke 6:28)
“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 [NLT]
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
1) In Matthew 18:21-22, we read about Peter approaching Jesus with the question – “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answers, “Seventy-seven times.” What does that mean?
2) Read Luke 17:3-4. This passage mentions something happening before the forgiveness happens. What does it mention? Should this be required to forgive something?
3) The passage from Matthew 18 says we must continue to forgive. What is hard about forgiving someone again and again?
4) From where are we to forgive from? How can we do this?
5) Read Ephesians 4:32. How are we to forgive?
6) Share an example from your life when you needed to forgive.
Were you able to easily forgive?
What made it easier/difficult?
How did you feel after you forgave the person/people?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.