Paul Tripp has some very keen insight for those who struggle with conflict in relationships and forgiveness. You’ll want to listen to his wise words in the video below, but in case you can’t swing the six minutes to watch his video, here are the highlights:
Sin = Selfishness
[0:30] “If you understand what the Bible says about sin, you immediately understand why we have so much conflict.” In 2 Cor. 5:15, what Paul is saying is that the DNA of sin is selfishness. It makes us feel like my needs are sovereign, etc. Sin causes us to be anti-social.
[1:20] We were made to live upward (loving and relating to God) and outward (practicing self-sacrificing love toward neighbors) lives, but sin makes us self-focused. Sin allows little time to love another person.
[1:48] Sin will cause me to dehumanize the people in my life. They become vehicles or obstacles.
Why forgiveness is so hard
[3:35] “The reason we struggle with forgiveness is because God has built in our hearts a desire for justice.” This desire is supposed to drive us toward God, the ultimate and righteous judge.
[4:22] Here’s where we have to go: It’s wonderful if you will forgive me, it would be a blessing, etc. But I don’t need your forgiveness. I don’t need you to forgive me in order for me to love you. I get my power to love vertically, not horizontally. People who can’t move on after being denied forgiveness are living in spiritual paralysis.
The Gospel distilled
[5:25] Essentially, the Gospel says: “I got everything I need to live in an unforgiving world at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.”
[5:35] God has chosen to leave me in a world where unforgiveness lives as a part of his plan. Part of his plan is teaching me that it’s never safe to put my spiritual well-being in the hands of another person—it’s only ever safe to put it in his hands.