YOU MUST FORGIVE the word of God declares that you must do so. Jesus, became the sacrificial lamb that took our punishment, shed his blood that we may be forgiven. Jesus, dying on the cross set the example for forgiveness as he asked his father to Forgive them that were crucifying him.
Forgive as defined by Webster 1) to give up resentment of or claim to requital for forgive an insult : to grant relief from payment of, forgive a debt 2 to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon, forgive one's enemies. According to Strong's Greek Definition: aphiemi (af-ee-ay-mee) forgive is to. To cry, forsake, lay aside, leave, omit, away, remit, suffer.
Why must we forgive? In biblical terms when we ask God to forgive us of our sins what we are asking is that he takes away, wash and cleanse us from our sins, from our wrongdoing. We are asking him to release us from the penalty of that sin, to not punish us even though we are deserving of the punishment. We are asking him in essence to "let us go", to "overlook" our sins.
One of the conditions that God requires of us in order to be forgiven is to forgive others as well. Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Luke 11:24 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Forgiving others can be difficult at times. The hurt goes deep, we feel betrayed and that the wrong was uncalled for, unnecessary and we did not deserve what that person did. This can be very true. We have a right to feel angry, hurt and betrayed. God is not saying to us that we don't have a right to those feelings nor that we are to deny those feeling. Our emotions are just that - emotions - neither right nor wrong but simply what we experience and feel.
Some situations are much more difficult to forgive than others. For example, someone borrow money, clothing or an item and fail to give back what is rightfully ours. Those things pale in comparison to being raped, molested as a child, incest, beaten and tormented. Yet, God does not make a difference. He simply says if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven.
The benefit of forgiving is that YOU WILL BE FORGIVEN. You forgive that you may be forgiven. You will experience inner healing when you forgive. Your forgiveness not only releases that person but it releases you as well. In those situations where it is so difficult to forgive because of the extent of the damage that person has done to you it will be necessary to ask God to help you to forgive. He will give you the strength and necessary grace to do so.
The price of unforgiveness. YOU WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN. Don't allow yourself to be a victim twice. Don't give that person power over you. Does your stomach tie up in knots, or your head hurt, or you get physically sick when you think about what that person did to you? Do you become so angry that you break down in tears or become violent when you think about that person? As a counselor in the mental health field I am certain that many people in mental health facility are there because of forgiveness. They are unable to let go of the anger, hate and rage against that person. I'm convinced that some illness can be contributed to the chemicals being released into your body due to hate, anger, rage and bitterness. Many are in prison today because they could not forgive.
Your prayers will not be heard. Mark 11:24-25 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire , when ye pray , believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.25And when ye stand praying , forgive , if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses Matt 5;23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath ought against thee;24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way ; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
One of the barriers to forgiveness is PRIDE. How dare they treat me like that? How dare they embarrass/disgrace me like that? When you allow pride to stand in the way of forgiveness you are again, giving that person far too much power over you. You are his captive and his victim.
Forgiveness does not mean that you have to allow yourself to repeatedly be hurt by that person. Let us be clear about what God says. YOU MUST FORGIVE. You must forgive your abuser but you do not have to continue to submit yourself to abuse. You do not have to continue to allow that person in your life if it is detrimental to you physically, mentally and or emotionally. You can learn to love a person from a distance. It becomes your duty to pray for their wellbeing, for their salvation and deliverance but you do not put yourself in harm’s way. God did not tell you to do that nor does he expect you to do that.
In medical terms you will often hear "the benefits outweighs the risk" Consider this, your relationship with your heavenly Father is more precious than gold. The privilege to come into his presence and experience his love, grace and presence in your life is far more worthy than to hold on to anger, rage, hurt, pain and unforgiveness.
SPEAK THE ANSWER NOT THE PROBLEM. THE ANSWER IS IN THE WORD OF GOD. Heavenly Father, we come in the name of your son, Jesus, who you sent as the sacrificial lamb to die for our sins and we ask that you give us strength to forgive. We ask that through your shed blood that you cleanse our heart of unforgiveness. Let your Holy Spirit go deep and pull up every seed of hurt, pain, shame, rejection and unforgiveness in our lives. Heal us from the inside out and make us whole that we may once again experience your love and your presence. We ask that you would even take away the memories of the pain and destroy this yoke of unforgiveness that comes to destroy our destiny. We bind up the spirit of envy, hate, rage, pride and jealousy in our lives. We loose the agape love of God, compassion and caring in our lives. We exchange our garments of heaviness and sorrow and put on the garment of joy and love. Let there be a breaking in our spirits and a complete yielding to you so that loving you become more precious than holding on to anger. We choose to let go of the pain in exchange for joy, let go of the hate in exchange for peace. We bow down to you and magnify your holy name for you are great and greatly to be praised. We thank you for forgiving us our debt as we forgive our debtors.
Note: to hear my song "YOU MUST FORGIVE" go to www.forhisgloryyp.com