by Don Dickerman
It Does Not Matter How Justified We May Feel
Forgiveness puts us in a position to experience full freedom and perfect peace from God. Since unforgiveness is sin, it must be repented of toward God. It must also be expressed to the individual who needs our forgiveness. It does not matter how justified we feel in holding to unforgiveness, God very clearly teaches us that it is the one sin that MUST be repented of in order for peace to come.
Bitterness and resentment will eventually destroy our emotions and make life miserable. It is written unmistakably clear that forgiveness is something that pleases God and unforgiveness is close to blasphemy. The act of Jesus on the cross to not only forgive us for our sin, but to forgive those who were creating His pain and misery is the prime example of forgiveness.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Often, those who have caused us great pain and discomfort, did not even know they were doing so. Forgiveness frees, unforgiveness binds! Forgiveness Is UnconditionalExamine the scripture and see how God views unforgiveness and how He values forgiveness. Remember forgiveness is unconditional.
“And when ye stand praying, FORGIVE, IF YOU HAVE AUGHT AGAINST ANY: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your trespasses. BUT IF YOU DO NOT FORGIVE, NEITHER WILL YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN FORGIVE YOUR TRESPASSES.” Mk. 11 25,26 “And forgive us our sins, AS WE FORGIVE those who have sinned against us…for IF YOU FORGIVE men their trespasses, your heavenly FATHER WILL FORGIVE you: but IF YOU FORGIVE NOT men their trespasses, neither will your FATHER FORGIVE YOU.” Mt. 6:12,14,15.
Unforgiveness closes heavens door
You have heard people say, “I don’t feel like my prayers are getting out of the room.” Maybe they aren’t!
The Powerful Parable of Unforgiveness
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? til seven times? Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven like unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.’ “
“And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents (101 million dollars). But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, AND LOOSED HIM AND FORGAVE him the debt.”
“But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which had owed him an hundred pence: ($44.00), and he laid his hands on his throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and begged him, saying, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.”
“So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord after that he had called him, said unto him. O thou wicked servant, I FORGAVE THEE ALL THAT DEBT, BECA– USE THOU DESIREDST ME, SHOULD NOT THOU ALSO HAVE HAD COMPASSION ON THEY FELLOW SERVANT, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and DELIVERED HIM TO THE TORMENTORS, till he should pay all that was due unto him.”
“SO LIKEWISE SHALL MY HEAVENLY FATHER DO ALSO UNTO YOU, IF YE FROM YOUR HEARTS FORGIVE NOT EVERYONE HIS BROTHER THEIR TRESPASSES.”
We are the one who had a debt we could not pay, but God freely forgave us. To then have unforgiveness for a fellow human being is the ultimate insult and it carries a severe penalty for believers. God turns the unforgiving believer over to the tormentors, to evil spirits.
No, not in losing one’s salvation, that is eternal, but many believers live in torment today because they refuse to forgive. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU” Eph. 4:30-31
Unforgiveness Is Sin and Must Be Repented Of
Forgiveness is not an act of the will, nor is it an agreement that it is the right thing to do. You cannot will forgiveness. It must be repented of before God. It is a sweet smelling fragrance to God and He always receives our forgiveness of others. Healing comes through forgiveness.
Unforgiveness is torment. God turns those who refuse to forgive over to the “tormentors”. He looses those from bondage who forgive. Forgiveness is what we received at salvation. Forgiveness is honored by God. It is like His Son, to forgive. What Forgiveness Is Not! Some people don’t forgive because they misunderstand what it is. It is not saying that what happened is OK. It will always be painful, the deeds that hurt and offended you will always be wrong and always be painful when you remember them. Jesus did not say sin was OK when He forgave me. Sin is ugly, it took Him to the cross. What HE said was, I love you anyway, inspite of the sin, the ugly, painful deeds.
You can do that. You can look at the person(s) who have offended you and say I wish no harm for you, I want God to love you like He loves me. If vengeance is in order I turn that over to God. I did not deserve forgiveness when God forgave me. The person who offended you may not deserve your forgiveness either but because it is God’s way and God’s instruction to do so, you do it. Here is a typical prayer of repentance for unforgiveness.
“Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me for not forgiving. I acknowledge that unforgiveness is sin and repent before you and ask you to give me peace. I forgive all those who have hurt me and I thank You for forgiving me for harboring bitterness and anger toward them. I want the peace that you give. I thank you for Jesus and the forgiveness provided at the cross. In Jesus Name.”