Refusing to forgive? Forgiveness isn’t about what you think. It’s not about what you feel. It’s not about what someone did to you or didn’t do. It’s not about the hurt you sustained. It’s not about whether you believe the person deserves forgiveness or not. It’s not about what others think of the matter. The truth according to the Lord God almighty is this:
“”For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
God’s truth is also this:
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Luke 6:36-37
FORGIVENESS IS COMMANDED BY GOD. When we refuse to forgive, we are sinning against God almighty! We are rebelling against Him! You and I MUST forgive if we are to live in obedience to the Lord!
Mind you, forgiveness is NOT merely SAYING we have forgiven. It’s NOT merely THINKING we have forgiven. It’s NOT merely CONVINCING OURSELVES we have forgiven. Our hearts, words, and actions need to show we have forgiven. The Lord sees our hearts, words, and actions. We are to be pure in His eyes. We are to repent when we are not.
Have we REALLY forgiven? When we think about that person or those people, are our thoughts filled with God’s love and mercy – or with pride, judgment, condemnation, vengeance, hurt, bitterness, anger, resentment, etc.? When we speak to that person or those people, are our words pleasing to the Lord – or do they show we haven’t truly forgiven? When we speak of that person or those people to others, are our words merciful and do they show God’s love – or are we spiteful, negative, demeaning, arrogant, angry, etc.? What about our feelings? What do they reveal? Are we still holding onto what happened – or have we forgiven and moved on? And when it comes to our actions, do they show we have forgiven – or not? God sees it all. So where do we stand?
Refusing to forgive? Repent of any and all sin in your heart, words, and actions. Seek the Lord’s forgiveness for any of your own wrong. And seek His love, mercy, grace, strength, and help to forgive if you feel unable to do so.
FORGIVE. Don’t debate. Don’t wait. Don’t resist. Don’t make excuses. Don’t justify refusing to forgive. Obey the Lord. FORGIVE! Now is the time, oh yes!
Oh, Lord, help us forgive! Amen!
I encourage you to read Matthew 18: 21-35. It’s a powerful story told by Jesus with a strong message about forgiving from the heart. Here are some of the verses which I hope you will take to heart. May you forgive any and all you need to forgive – as often as necessary!
“Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”” Matthew 18:32-35