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Forgiveness will set you free! | Back to articles | Articles sitemap |

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is one person's moral response to another's injustice. Forgiveness is turning to “good” in the face of a wrongdoing; merciful restraint from pursuing resentment or revenge. Forgiveness should be a major component in our Christian walk.

Forgiving others for their trespasses against us is important for many reasons. First of all God demands it. This is because God will only forgive us, if we forgive others. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us so: “…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.” Holding resentment or hatred in our hearts towards others will only keep us in bondage to Satan. When you’re in bondage to Satan expect only difficulties in your life.

Unforgiveness will destroy you more then anyone else. Unforgiveness will cripple your spiritual walk altogether! Look at it this way: when you refuse to forgive someone, no matter what the reason, you are building resentment and hatred in your heart. When you put hatred in your heart it will replace love, just like fear will replace faith if you let it. Now remember faith works by love. If faith works by love then how can faith work when you are full of resentment? It simply cannot. If your faith isn’t working and your prayers aren’t being answered most will then blame God, when in fact it is a product of their own actions. A simple thing like unforgiveness can eventually lead you away from God all together.

Most importantly you have to understand where this will ultimately lead you. So now read this slowly and let it sink in: Unforgiveness causes resentment. Resentment is the opposite of love, and will eventually replace it. We need love: “For love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7) When love is replaced with resentment or bitterness faith cannot function because faith can only work by love. Now here is the most significant truth: know that “without faith it is impossible to please him (God).” (Hebrews 11:6) You cannot please God without faith. Therefore you cannot please God by holding unforgiveness in your heart.

It is true that forgiving someone may take healing time, and can be difficult, however it must be done. We must even forgive our enemies! That’s right, the ones who have hurt us the most, we must forgive them also. When we do, it puts us in the greatest receiving position in relation to God’s blessings. Jesus is the number one example that we should follow. Remember what Jesus said before he was crucified: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus asked God to forgive the very people who were going to kill him! If that isn’t forgiveness then I don’t know what is.
This very notion is reiterated again in Matthew 5:44-45: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Forgiveness sets you free from the bondage of Satan. When you forgive you are operating in love. When you operate in love Satan is losing control. When you practice repeated forgiveness you are really perfecting your love and “…perfect love casteth out fear” (1John 4:18) There isn’t any fear in love because fear has torment. So when you are casting out fear, you are eliminating one of Satan's greatest weapons! This is not to say that you forgive a few people and Satan is done with trying to interfere in your life forever. This is to say that forgiving, operating in love, will reduce his chances of successfully functioning in your life. Only when you are completely functioning by and obeying all of God’s commandments are you adequately equipped to stand against Satan’s schemes. As I have said before, it is not our responsibility to defeat Satan. Jesus already defeated Satan for us when he died on the cross. It is our responsibility to resist him however.

Forgiveness also brings peace of heart, something that many of us chase after. When we forgive others it allows the peace of God to reside in us. Peace of heart, a contented heart, leads to happiness. Remember that you cannot claim to forgive but never forget. If you are refusing to forget, then you are refusing to fully and completely forgive. Forgiveness should also be unconditional, it doesn't demand compensation first. God desires us to be at peace with one another. This is yet another reason why we must forgive those who have hurt us. Forgiveness leads to reconciliation; two people or parties coming together in mutual respect. Forgiveness leads to peace.

If someone has hurt you in your life, if something someone did continues to hurt you to this day, give forgiveness a chance, and watch what God can do for you. Forgive them this very moment, and never pick up the care of that burden again. We should be learning from the past, but not living there. If you’re living in the shadows of the past then how can you possibly enjoy and live today? Forgiving someone does not mean that you have to be best friends all of a sudden, but it does mean you have to let go of any bitterness or hate you have for them. Release the offender! By releasing that bitterness, you will set yourself free!

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