Many people have a religious view of forgiveness, thinking they are forgiving but really just giving it lip service. How can you say you forgive if you still hold it in your heart and mind?
To forgive is to let go. Many people think they have forgiven because they said, “I forgive,” with their lips or said it in their heart, but two hours later, the anger, the thoughts, and the continued bitterness in the heart still persist. The mind still dwells on it. This is a form of godliness. When the Bible tells us to forgive, it never said just say a prayer. It doesn't actually tell you how to do it.
Yet the Bible also says, “Take no record of wrong.” “Let not the sun go down on your anger.” Have you ever heard the two scriptures and thought that it was saying “forgive?” That is what it looks like to forgive. To let go of it. To get your mind off of it. To no longer let your heart be offended about it.
There are many scriptures that talk about God's forgiveness and mentions how He not only forgives them, but He forgets what they did.
Read Hebrews 10:16-17.
So, when God forgives you, He forgets it, but here you are taking thought of what your brother did yesterday. This is “unforgiveness.” Even if something happened years ago, if you still look back on it with resentment or bitterness or it still plays in your mind, it’s in unforgiveness. You need to let it go. Then you say, “Well, I forgave them,” but yet you still think about it and scoff at it. You didn’t forgive! Forgiveness is not lip service. In the Kingdom, it’s an action!
In the Kingdom, to forgive is to actually let go of it, the thoughts, the feelings, the memory, because this is how your Father forgives. It’s one thing to go in the past and use the past to teach and understand things in the present. Yet when we look in the past with distastefulness and regret, we have a heart of unforgiveness.
Besides the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, this is the most serious sin because the Bible says if you don’t forgive, He won’t forgive you. You can be forgiven of every single sin. Yet this one sin of unforgiveness can void God forgiving you of all your sin. You can do everything right, yet if you don’t do this one thing, everything you’re doing is wrong because your heart is wrong. He forgave you of all your sin, how can you not forgive others of theirs?
Read Matthew 6:12-15.
Verse 15 says this: “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This is serious. Offense, bitterness, or anger against someone is all unforgiveness, and God will cease from forgiving you. The Bible mentions that before we come to the altar, we should reconcile with a brother that we are in “ought” with. Some of us wonder why we can’t enjoy the benefits and power of the blood. It’s because you haven’t drunk the cup of forgiveness on behalf of your brother. It’s like saying, “I can drink of His blood but you can’t.”
Read Matthew 18:21-35.
How can you keep your mind on God when your mind is still on your brother? There are so many reasons why we forgive. How can we be a habitation for God with our heart and mind when our heart and mind is on our brother? When my heart and mind are free from the thought of my brother, it leaves a clean slate that God can rest on. That God would be on my thoughts. That God would be the pursuit of my heart.
One of the biggest causes of anger in our life is “unforgiveness.” We don’t even realize the things we haven’t let go of from years ago still dictate our lives. Every time someone does something or says something or something happens, it triggers anger because our mind reverts back to someone or an event that we haven’t let go of, and now it still dictates us today.
Even if we forgive, and the devil brings it back up later, we need to resist him and continue to forgive. Jesus said to forgive 77 times 7. Yet we can’t even reach that stature because we’re still thinking about the first offense. Here you are offended at 7 a.m., and now it’s 7 p.m. and you’re still thinking about it. We need to let it go and let it go quickly so that we would be free.
We don’t forgive because people deserve it. We forgive so that we can be free, because if we don’t forgive, we will separate ourselves from God and be in our own prison again.
The world only forgives the person if the person repents, but the Bible says, “Love your enemies, pray for those that persecute you.” Even the worst ones, the ones that want to kill you, you have to forgive. If we don’t forgive our enemies, what difference do we have compared to them? We look just like our enemy. The Bible says if you are forgiving, you are doing well.
The Bible says, “Give and it will be given.” “Reap what you sow.” If you forgive, you will be forgiven. Most of the time, we’re striving to receive God's forgiveness but it’s free as long as we forgive. Or else His forgiveness is void in our life. Some are full of condemnation, striving to be forgiven, but God won’t turn His heart back to you until you go reconcile with your brother. What you do unto your brother, you do unto Christ.
Proverbs says fools give full to their vent; people say am I allowed to vent? No! The Bible says forgive! Let it go! Forgive yourself. Most people not only have a problem forgiving others but also have a problem forgiving themselves! If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you forgive someone else? How can you drink of His blood and say God has forgiven all my sins but you still hold all your sins against yourself?
One of the most important things for most believers is that when they look at the blood, they should realize that God has let go of all the things they have done. Yet also, realize that because God has let all the things that they have done go, now they can let it go and forgive themselves. Especially those who have been born again. We put expectations on ourselves, and then when we fall, we condemn ourselves when we should be drinking His blood and forgiving ourselves.
Yet how can we drink His blood properly when we still have unforgiveness with ourselves? Your unforgiveness with yourself is blocking you from the flow of His blood because you can no longer believe that you are free, and then, how we see ourselves is how we will start seeing others and it becomes that much harder to forgive others.
The result of Judas having unforgiveness with himself resulted in death. Yet even the worst of the worst, Judas could have been forgiven.
Those who have been forgiven much, forgive much, and those who forgive much are forgiven much. Greater is the blood in our life when forgiveness of the sins for our brother is great in our hearts. Greater love has no man than this: to lay down His life for His friends; and greater love has no man than this: to forgive even their enemies their trespasses.
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love.” Proverbs 17:9
By Joe Pinto
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