Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Unforgiveness is truly of one of the most hidden and disastrous sins one can have. First, unforgiveness is very dangerous because it is in fact a sin. Many people think that because of what someone did to them they are justified in not forgiving them. However, Jesus was very clear in describing what would happen to those who don’t forgive others. He said in Matthew 6:15, “if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” It is that simple- if you don’t forgive others you will not be forgiven.
Second, unforgiveness is deadly to one’s spiritual life because many times it comes slowly and builds over time. Bitterness first appears like a small weed-like vine. It seems controllable and harmless at first, however, over time as the mind continues to dwell on the hurt, bitterness will continue to grow until it has choked the roots of grace and spoiled the fruit of salvation.
God said in Hebrews 12:14, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Therefore, bitterness and unforgiveness can lead to losing your salvation and not having your sins forgiven.
In the parable of the “Unmerciful Servant” found in Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus gave the example of a man who himself was forgiven of great debt, yet he was punished severely because he couldn’t forgive someone’s small debt to him. In turn, we should always see our sins against God as the “greater debt” that He was willing to forgive and thus be able to forgive the “smaller debt” others owe us.
Paul said in Romans 12:18-21, “14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Consequently, forgiveness is a choice to trust God and allow Him to heal your hurting heart. When you forgive someone you are not saying what he or she did was okay or that they were not wrong. What you are saying is, “If God can forgive me, I can forgive you.” Sometimes people will change and others times they will not. Some people who hurt you will be your friends again, other times you may have to give them the “gift of goodbye.” Either way, I strongly urge you to forgive them of all their sins against you and let God deal with them.
Do you have unforgivenss in your heart? Pray this out loud, “Father, please forgive me for not forgiving others who have hurt me. Remove all the bitterness from my heart and restore what they have taken from my life. Help me to always love and forgive others as you have loved and forgiven me. Amen.”
- Repent if have not forgiven those who have sinned against you.
- Pray and ask God to fill you with His love and to heal your broken heart, Isaiah 61:1-3.
- Lastly, whenever someone hurts you be quick to forgive them and don’t give any room for bitterness to grow- kill it at the root!