Forgiveness has been a challenge for a number of people, but it is truly necessary to live in harmony with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14-15 “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.” If we don’t forgive others, then we can’t expect God to forgive us. If God doesn’t forgive us, we live a life in sin. When we live in sin, God separates himself from us. Do you see the spiral effect unforgiveness has on our relationship with God?
Besides our relationship with God, when we don’t forgive, it has a grave effect on us as well. When we have anger, bitterness and resentment towards a person, it isn’t only reserved for that person. It sometimes pours out into other parts of our lives and onto other people. Those ill feelings sometimes cause problems in other relationships and interfere with our ability to live in peace and harmony. The bible tells us in Hebrews 12:14 to pursue peace with all people. Our goal should be to pursue peace with all people. If someone has mistreated you or wronged you in any type of way, now is the time to forgive without further delay.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean letting the wrongdoer off the hook, nor does it mean that the relationship has to be restored. Forgiveness means you are freeing yourself to be in right standing with God and allowing yourself to be at peace. I’ll leave you with this scripture found in 1 Peter 3:8-9 “Finally, all of you, be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with a blessing, because to this you were called that you may inherit a blessing.” Don’t let unforgiveness be the cause of you missing out on your blessing.