What does unforgiveness do to you? Well, it makes you sad, angry, sick, and you think about that person who hurt you or your loved one all the time. It eats at you and makes you so unhappy. You think about them more after you have been hurt or taken up an offence for some one else that they have hurt, than you did before the incident happened.
Some people are not very forgiving. Some people forgive easily. I don’t know why that is. But it is so. When I see someone who has gone through life with all kinds of heartaches and tragedies and “bad luck”, and they are happy, friendly, even to the person that hurt them, I am so amazed. I have known people who had a child murdered, and then later was able to forgive that person, and even go to the prison and face-to-face tell him that he was forgiven. And then the man became almost like a son to them. Now that is forgiveness. I don’t know if I could forgive like that.
I have always been told if you think about a person that you have held an offense against, and say you have forgiven, but you still get angry when you think of them, you have not forgiven in your heart. Sometimes you have to forgive yourself more. Sometimes you have to forgive God. If you haven’t forgiven God, talk to Him and tell him how you feel, out loud. He knows! Even before you tell Him. I did that many years after the stroke happened to my daughter. I didn’t even know I was mad at God. But during a women’s retreat, I realized I was so mad at God. I knew I had to forgive GOD. When I finally released the anger and unforgiveness I was so free!
Do you know harboring unforgiveness makes you ill? I remember when my mother was visiting us one time, and we took her to a Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting in Ft. Worth, and she went for prayer for pain from arthritis. She couldn’t even kneel at altar she told the evangelist that was the main speaker that night. He prayed then asked her if she had any unforgiveness for someone. She told him no that she had forgive everyone in her life. He insisted she must have. She told me later that she was so irritated at him, and he prayed for her. Later that night after she went to our house, she went back over the people she had forgiven, and remembered a person who had hurt her so much, my aunt who had taken me when I was 5 years old and refused to bring me back, after 4 months, said she wanted to adopt me because Mother and Daddy had too many kids anyway. She finally brought me back after Mother threatened to get the sheriff after her. Then she wrote my mother a letter telling her to let her adopt the next baby who was in my mother’s womb! Mother said after all those years she thought she had forgiven my aunt. But she had not! That night she was able to forgive her. The next morning when she went to church with us, she was able to kneel at the altar without any pain.
And maybe you will have to forgive someone over and over again. Doesn’t Jesus say we need to forgive not seven times but seventy-times-seven? That is almost 500 times!
And God doesn’t distinguish between big sins and small sins. They are all the same in His eyes. A sin is a sin is a sin.
Offenses most often occur in families and churches! So sad isn’t it? I have seen families that have gone almost 20 years not speaking to someone. I say life is too short to hold offenses against loved ones or friends and people in your family. Think of all the years that were wasted. But if you do forgive or are forgiven, God will make up the time that was lost. He will restore the years the years.
If someone has offenses against someone in the church or in their family, read this and be assured it is from God!
How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!
It's like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron's beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It's like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that's where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.
Psalm 133 – The Message Bible