Jesus never said that you don't have to forgive everyone who hurt you
Admittedly, not a good sermon title. What is even more difficult than writing good sermon titles, however, is doing what Jesus told us to do. We can always find someone with whom we can justify a grudge and a desire for revenge. We can point to someone towards whom we were magnanimous, as a way of balancing our lack of charity towards someone else. That's not enough, according to Jesus. He never said that we don't have to forgive everyone who hurt us.
What does it mean to forgive? Here are a few definitions I like. "Letting go of the hope that the past can be changed." "Giving up on the idea of ever getting even." "A decision about the past that ultimately determines the future."
This Sunday we continue our sermon series, "Things Jesus Never Said." Learning about some things Jesus never said will free us from obligations that we think we have, but really don't. Learning about other things Jesus never said will keep us from avoiding some obligations that we really do have. Forgiving everyone who hurt us would be in that latter category. Jesus said we have to do it. It's what you would expect to hear from a man who went to the cross for the sake of everybody.