Are you ever overwhelmed with anger? Or perhaps you perpetually keep others at a safe distance, guarding yourself against any possible hurt. Join Pastor Lutzer as he begins a new mini-series, entitled, “When You’ve Been Wronged: Moving from Bitterness to Restoration.” Let’s be guided by God’s transforming word as we navigate the hurt and bitterness that often exists in fallen human relationships.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we begin a brand new series, entitled—“When You’ve Been Wronged: moving from bitterness to restoration.” I can’t over-emphasize the need for this series because we’re living at a time when people have been hurt and they in turn hurt others. Jesus made the statement that it was necessary that offenses come, but He says, “Woe to the person through whom they come.” That word “offense” can be translated “a trap.” You know, traps come in our life. Some translations say, “temptation,” either way, offense is often times our experience in this fallen world.
Now, today, what I want us to do is to begin to dismantle the walls of shame and anger and resentment and the need for vengeance that many people have. I want us to be able to get passed all that and begin to have a vibrant relationship with God, no matter where you are in your spiritual journey, no matter what people have done to you, and I might say also—things that you have done to others. That’s why this series is so important. I hope you tell your friends about it. Be sure to pass it along because I believe very deeply, as a pastor, this particular series is needed.
Well, today, I’m want to begin with the nineteenth chapter of the book of Proverbs, where we read these words, that “a brother offended is like a walled city and quarreling like bars in a castle.” A number of years ago, Rebecca and I were in Germany and we were in a city called Rothenberg. It was a very famous city during medieval times and the walls were still up and we took the nightwatch tour, a nightwatchman, he took us on a tour at midnight to show us what the city would have been like during medieval times. He explained that when evening came the main door of the city was totally closed, but there was a door left open just enough for one person to get through at a time so anybody who was caught outside the city, if they wanted to come in, they had to identify themselves or they would not be allowed. The imagery there in the book of Proverbs is this—take somebody who has been offended, take somebody who has been hurt, and he digs those walls all the way down to bedrock and he keeps track of who comes in. He is totally concerned about anyone coming in that might hurt him. He’s been burned because of relationships and he takes in information that he wants to hear; he keeps the other information out and he says to himself, “I’ve been hurt and I’ll never be hurt again.” Now, this is a huge assignment, but what I’d like to do in the next sessions is to encourage you to let those walls fall down. As I’ve mentioned, walls of shame, anger, resentment, the need for vengeance—oh my, all of those things often times possess people and Satan uses offenses to keep us bound and we can’t get beyond them.
So, today I want us to simply take time—in your life—this is your assignment, write down all the offenses that have been done against you. Put them on a piece of paper because what we’d like to do next time, and as we work through this series, is to help you take care of those. Because within families, especially, offenses are being multiplied. Are you controlled by them? Do you have walls around your life where you can no longer really be friends with anyone? Anger? Resentment? Ask God to show that to you. That’s your assignment for this week and next week, as we return, we’ll continue this discussion, but we will also emphasize that hurt people hurt others. You’ll hear me say it a number of times in this series that hurt people hurt people. Well, let’s begin the journey together and so much thanks to you for joining us today. Be sure to join us again next time, but as for today just go with God.