As a pastor who teaches on a regular, weekly basis, I can pretty much tell you what topics will be "best sellers" to those who seek after audio and video tapes of our services.
One "best seller" is forgiveness.
There's so much anger, hurt and resentment in all of us, really, that the topic resonates with the body of Christ.
Being as close as we are on a weekly basis, a community of faith not only provides a sense of intimacy for you and I, but also reveals the tensions among us. Think of it as one, big, extended family.
And as in any family where a husband and a wife don't talk to each other, or a child refuses to eat, or brothers and sister bicker, there are tense silences, the body of Christ can be the last place where you want to be.
That's where forgiveness comes in.
Forgiveness means that I continually am willing to forgive the other person for not being God - for not fulfilling all my needs.
And when the shoe is on the other foot, I must ask forgiveness for not being able to fulfill other people's needs as well.
No matter how sincere we are, all of us are concerned about getting our needs met. Since w want so much and we get only part of what we want, we have to keep on forgiving people for not giving us all we want.
We must forgive. This is so important because in the day and age we live in people are constantly looking to blame their parents, the church and their friends for not giving them what they need. So many are so angry.
Yet forgiveness will set us free. We say, "I no longer hold your offense against you."
But there is more.
We also free ourselves from the burden of being the "offended one."
It releases us from the emotional load that we carry.
The great temptation is to cling in anger to those who have offended us and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. It becomes our identity. We wallow in it. We relish it. We become comfortable with it.
Be set free today!
Why not? The other option is misery.