unforgiveness

Unforgiveness Brings Bondage

When we experience Christ’s gracious forgiveness we receive peace. To retain this peace it is necessary to forgive others. Christ tells us in Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Jesus gives clear teaching on the perils of unforgiveness: “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying: Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

 

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35).

Hating someone, holding an offense, or harboring a grudge causes many negative effects. The person who allows such attitudes in his life becomes joyless and sour. His health suffers, as do his relationships.

 

When we don’t forgive others, it brings about a bondage to our souls that could be compared to being enslaved by people or bound by a substance addiction. Often this unforgiveness causes a bitterness that claims us from the inside out. It locks in sorrow, anger and strife; it locks out joy, love and fellowship. This bitterness is a result of a proud spirit that seeks to keep score and gain revenge for perceived and real wrongs. If we refuse to release our offended feelings, they will eventually control us. We will be in bondage to them as well as in the bondage of sin before God.

Unconditional Forgiveness

Jesus taught that the only way for us to grant forgiveness to others is in the way He has forgiven us. We are not to condition forgiveness according to the nature or gravity of the offense against us, the number of offenses, or the character of the offender. We are to show unconditional mercy as God has shown mercy to us. As we humble ourselves and extend forgiveness to others, God opens the way for us to seek forgiveness for our own mistakes and sins. God fully forgives all that come to Him with a humble and repentant spirit.

 

As we follow the Holy Spirit, we will know the truth, and the truth shall make us free. (John 8:32). Verse 36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

 

“To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come unto me … and I will give you rest.” As we follow these teachings, we will be forgiven and will be able to forgive others.

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