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“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13).
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. But if you refuse to forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins” (Mark 11:25-26).
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was forgive someone who didn’t ask for it. I think it is easier for me to forgive if the forgive-ee is at least sorry for what they did. I mean, when they are sorry, we sort of win, right?
When we refuse to forgive someone who we believe has wronged us it begins to compound into animosity and bitterness. Unforgiveness leads to a grudge, and holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is only going to make you feel worse, and perhaps worst of all, the other person won’t feel a thing. Let’s be honest here, we really just want them to feel bad about hurting us, don’t we?
Being the bigger person is never easy, rarely well received but always the right choice. The Bible is clear that the consequence for withholding forgiveness from others is that we will not be forgiven by God. I sit here and think about that last statement, is there really anything in this world that someone could do to me, that would be worth me having to stand before the throne and not be covered by the forgiveness given to me? Forgiveness that I didn’t deserve or earn, but that was freely given.
Lord, Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for forgiving me. Help me to forgive others. Amen
Questions: Why do we struggle so much to forgive? What is the result of unforgiveness?