(Un) Forgiveness

I think we all struggle with this topic at times. Unforgiveness is a nasty thing. It eats you from the inside. I’ve seen it happen in my own life with someone who was absolutely unwilling to forgive someone who they felt had wronged them. I learned in a book by Andy Stanley called “Enemies of the Heart” that people with unforgiveness in their hearts build walls, they react defensively and they have shrapnel spewing from their heart through their own words and actions. Hurt people hurt people. They are angry. I learned in this book that a heart filled with anger is looking for the rights to be wronged and to be fairly paid back. In most cases, that can never happen, and people continue to carry around unforgiveness which is harbored in their hearts causing walls and bitterness, and those closest to these people will eventually get the brunt of their anger.
When Peter was talking to Jesus in the Bible, he was asking about forgiveness. In the past Peter didn’t always want to forgive, so when asking Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who had done him wrong, he offered up “seven times?”. Jesus said “No.. not seven times, but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18-22 NLT). So, this clearly tells us that even though someone has done something to us that we feel was wrong, even many times over, we are expected to forgive. Yes, I know, easier said than done.
But – there’s more: Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT states this: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Oh yeah.. that last part. Read that again: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you”.  So, here’s the deal – Christ has forgiven US, so we must forgive others. If we don’t have a heart to forgive others, even if it wasn’t fair or even if we got a raw deal, Christ will not forgive us. Really? Yes! In Matthew 6:15 NLT, it says “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Wow.. that’s pretty full circle there.
Please be big enough to see the greater purpose in the wrong doing that someone has done to you, so you can extend forgiveness. Doesn’t matter if it wasn’t fair. Doesn’t matter if it wasn’t right. All of us screw up in weakness at times and do things that hurt people, and others have screwed up in weakness and have hurt us. Continuing to harbor anger and bitterness through unforgiveness breeds unhealthy emotions. Forgiveness. Christ offers this to us, therefore, we are required to offer it to others. It doesn’t mean you have to include this person in your life again (unless you want to), and it doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s actually not even about the person who wronged you – it’s about you. Shift your perspective and clean your mind… and let it go so you can move on. After all, based on what the Bible states, an “unforgiving Christian” is an oxymoron.


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About Dena:
“First and foremost, I’m a Daughter of the King and a long-time Christ follower. I’m also a dog mom who enjoys reading Christian books, cardio drumming, traveling often, and I’m a bit of a techie geek. My life has seen its fair share of curve-balls and I’ve found that I’ve become closer to Christ in each trial as He’s comforted me and shown me that I can solely put my faith and trust in Him. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I feel thankful and blessed for the messes in my life – as they have brought me closer to Him.”

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