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COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Study of Hagar, Part 2

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In the last study, we looked at Hagar and how her life was impacted by Abram and Sarai taking matters into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord.  There are more dynamics to this story than can be addressed in two studies, but we will look at a few.  God had given a promise to Abram and Sarai that He would give them descendants.  But many years had passed since that initial promise, so Abram and Sarai decided they would help the Lord out.  How many times do we do this?  And the result is other people get hurt.  Sarai came up with the idea that she would give her slave girl to Abram to have a child by her.  Perhaps when Hagar conceived, that confirmed to Sarai her fear that she was the problem. But another dynamic of this story is that Hagar, in her flesh, despised Sarai after she became pregnant. When we find ourselves hurt by others, our tendency is to act in the flesh, to nurse our wounds, to feel sorry for ourselves.  Hagar found herself pregnant, in bondage, in seeming

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Study of Hagar, Part 1

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Have you ever suffered collateral damage as the result of someone else taking things into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord? Or maybe just the results of the fleshly behavior of someone else, or resentment or lack of forgiveness?  Or have you suffered because of a loved one's addiction or some other sin?  Maybe your own resentments and unwillingness to forgive have caused collateral damage in someone else life.  Sometimes in studying forgiveness, when people are encouraged to forgive, we hear things like, "You only hurt yourself when you don't forgive."  Or, "You are the one in chains when you hold on to unforgiveness and resentment."  But that's not really accurate.  Being at the receiving end of resentment and bitterness due to lack of forgiveness can be excruciating.  Sometimes it can feel as if a two ton boulder is suffocating the life out of you.  In a sense, a loved one's lack of forgiveness can place chains that can only be remo