The Victim of Unforgiveness
Good morning, friends! Day Twenty! So much of our life can be wasted on worrying over grudges. We either ache to be forgiven or refuse to forgive. In the end, we all need forgiveness, but also need to forgive. And the main victim of unforgiveness is ourselves.
Bible Reading: Matthew 6-8
Verse of the day: Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”
Word of the day: Forgive. It is the Greek word: ἀφίημι (af-ee’-ay-mee).
This word means: “To dismiss or release someone; to let go. To give up. To release from legal or moral obligation or consequence, cancel, remit, pardon, Also of remission of the guilt (debt) of sin.”
Practice Forgiveness Like Jesus
In the sermon on the mount in verse 12, Jesus is raising a whole new paradigm for people. Kingdom living and walking in the Spirit, which is vastly different than living in the flesh. Jesus reminds us that the very forgiveness we have received is so we will pass it on to others, as well. Ever had someone owe you a debt and forget to pay it? This is a picture of our standing before God. We could not pay our sin debt. He paid it for us and forgave us.
Letting Go Of Unforgiveness
When we don’t offer forgiveness, we are holding ourselves hostage with bitterness and unforgiveness. We are the ones in bondage while we think we hold others in bondage. As the old adage goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.” We see the fruit of unforgiveness a few verses later in Matthew 6:15, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
We can forgive even when others don’t deserve it because we didn’t either. This does not gloss over people’s sins, and it does not mean that people are not held accountable, but it frees us to love people and let God deal with people’s sins, including our own.
When someone has something against us, we can feel so very insignificant or worse–hated. But we can let go of their unforgiveness, too. When we apply the grace of God in our lives, even if someone thinks they have something against us, we need to reconcile in our own minds the truth: Jesus paid it all. Once we confess and renounce our sins, our debt is paid in full. While it might hurt that others still want to try to hold something over our head, real or imagined, we don’t live in that paradigm anymore.
There is nothing unforgiveable. Yes, even that thing in your mind right now. Christ’s shed blood covers every single sin.
Forgiveness frees us from the trap of bitterness.
When we can’t forget, forgiveness helps us to process our pain through Jesus’ lens.
He forgave His enemies. We can, too.
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