Updated: May 20
Is it really that serious?
I mean let us be honest, some people are not worth it. And it is not an easy thing to do, so what is the big deal?
"In all fairness, forgiving someone can be extremely hard. When someone betrays you, violates you, misuses you, stabs you in the back and deceives you, it almost seems sickening to forgive them. It becomes even more difficult when the person acts like they didn't do anything. Or worse, they don't care that they hurt you." - Insert from book: "My Love Is Unconditional" Click here
It has always baffled me to why God puts such emphasis on making sure we forgive someone or else our prayers will not be answered. But why? What is the big deal about forgiving anyway? Why is it so important?
The answer will surprise you as I found out how poisonous not forgiving someone can be.
But before diving deeper into how venomous unforgiveness is, the quick answer on why it is important to God that we do it, is because not forgiving is pride.
It is obstructive, disobedient, and uncooperative with God, and contrary to who God is - merciful.
Jesus gave us a great example in Matthew 18:21-35 when Peter asked Him how many times should we forgive each other when people do us wrong, and Peter learnt something valuable.
Jesus spoke about a king who wanted to settle some debts owed to him from his servants. One of the men owed him a lot of money and was not able to pay the king. So, the king his master, ordered that his entire family be sold as slaves to pay back the money.
The man started to plea and begged the king not to sell his family and promised he would pay him back everything. So, the king had mercy and compassion and cancelled his debt.
However, the same servant who was pardoned found someone, a fellow servant, who owed him money, far less than what he owed the king, and instead of calling off his debt he began to attack the man.
He choked the man while demanding his money back. So, the man fell to his knees and started to beg the servant to be patient and give him a chance to pay him back. But the servant refused and guess what he did? He had the man thrown into prison until the debt was paid off.
The other servants saw what was happening and they went to the king and told him. Then the king called in the servant and said, "you wicked servant, I cancelled all your debt because you begged me to, shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger, the king, who was his master, handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he paid back all that he owed.
Then Jesus ends by saying, "this is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive others from your heart.
It is how it is in the kingdom.
This is what God does with us.
And it is a principle.
So, when we do not forgive someone else, we are just like the servant.
This is how owing money was handled back then. Nowadays we just file for bankruptcy but in those days, it was common for a man, his family, and possessions to be sold to settle a debt.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins - Matthew 6:14-15.
Stopping you from forgiving someone is one of the biggest traps from the adversary because it puts you right where he wants you, in bondage, and a slave to the unhealed, unresolved issue, causing you to stay a victim to your own hurt and anger.
I have heard it said this way, "If you’ve been hurt by someone, you’re connected through anger, victimhood, horror or sadness. Forgiveness is when that connection no longer exists and the emotional bond has been released. That doesn’t mean it’s okay that someone has hurt you. It just means letting go of a negative connection"
As hard as this can be, you can ask God for help by saying," just like you are with me, help me to be that way with other.s Just as you forgive me over and over help me to do the same with others."
Ask God to help you forgive and let go so that you will not hinder your prayers from being answers. And more importantly be separated from God.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation - Luke 11:4.
This can be tough for some of us because the pain is so deep. But remember this, God never gave to us what we deserved, He forgave us when we deserved the consequence of our punishment.
Why do we hold on to what people do? What if everyone held on to things you have done or said? Besides, is it worth your freedom?
Holding on may make you feel better and not feel weak or victimized all over, but inside it eats away your happiness. And you can tell by how miserable you feel. If you fully forgive someone than it is a done deal, you remember it no more (Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12, 10:17, Jeremiah 31:34, Psalm 25:7, 79:8-9). It will no longer influence you, and you will be free.
You can choose—today—to grasp the reality of your own forgiven-ness, and extend that same mercy to whoever hurt you. You don’t have to feel like it. You don’t have to gin up any warm feelings for that person. But you can refuse not to retaliate today. You can wipe the slate clean today. You can forgive that debt today - Bob Hostetler
I had issues with letting go until God brought this to my attention. I truly did not know how deep rooted this was. Here I was getting mad at someone for always holding on to hurt and did not know I was doing the same thing.
This truth about myself brought me to regret as I cried for forgiveness and asked God to help me to fully let go. I do not even know why I cried but, I felt remorseful, and just like He casts out wrongs into the debts of the sea, I wanted to do the same.
As God was helping me, He showed me all the people that I thought I let go of and how they hurt me, but I was still bothered. Right there, I forgave each one of them from my heart and felt released. Then I understood the importance and power of forgiving.
Even if it does not make sense immediately, do it anyway. The effects of not doing it is not worth it and you can trust God.
I want a different life. A life different from how I grew up. A life that is free from stress, fear, depression, and confusion. And living in God's freedom is a beautiful place to be and where I want to stay.
If you follow His plans and instructions, you will live in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
I believe all of us who have a relationship with God will eventually get to the place where we will not be bothered by what others do to us. But when will that be on your death bed? Because from my experience that is when it happens for some of us. Then you would have realized you have missed out on so much, because you allowed pride to keep you trapped in unforgiveness.
Here is how God handles forgiveness:
He remembers then no more - Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12, 10:17, Jeremiah 31:34, Psalm 25:7, 79:8-9.
He cast your sins away - Micah 7:18-19
He blots them out - Isaiah 44:22, Acts 3:19
He will help make us right - Isaiah 1:18
He lets it go - Isaiah 38:17
There is power in forgiving because it leads to freedom. You can move forward and have a life, be healthy, and have a future.
When you are free you have no constraints. You are liberated from being a slave to the adversary.