“To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.”
William H. Walton
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Forgiving others is important in our relationship with God. Unforgiveness is spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically unhealthy for us. One of our biggest excuses for not forgiving someone who has done something to us is “that they don’t deserve it” that has to be the worst excuse ever. Jesus forgives us though we don’t deserve it. When we don’t forgive other’s for the sins they’ve comitted against us we not only hold it over thier heads but we hold it over our own. Over them we hold thier sins but over our head we hold thier sin and our own. Unforgiveness causes bitterness, unhealthy anger, usually gossip, it consumes a lot of your thoughts, and it causes problems in your relationship with God because you are putting that persons and your sins between it. It’s hard to forgive, that’s why we have to pray and ask God to help us forgive and to help us have the right heart and attitude. Forgiving someone of thier sins not only sets them free but it sets you free. Forgiveness is hard, I know because I struggle with it. Our human nature doesn’t allow us to forgive which is why we must pray for God’s strength to forgive others.
Another form of unforgiveness is self unforgiveness. Self unforgiveness is just as unhealthy as unforgiveness towards others. It wells up inside of you like a toxin and causes you to run from God, to run from the life He has for you. When we have repented to God and asked for forgiveness of our sins we are forgiven and nothing can change that. So today I say to you let it go. God has forgiven you. The Bible says “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” So if Jesus forgives you, than why shouldn’t you forgive you ? As long as you have repented, admitting that you sinned and are sincerely sorry, having learned from your mistake and asking God for strength to overcome it in Jesus name, than there is no reason to punish yourself with unforgivness. Jesus died and rose again so that we could be set free from our sins. You are not hopeless nor are you a lost cause. You are Redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and in Him you are made new, in Him you are forgiven, in Him you overcome.
If you haven’t repented then I urge you to pray and repent of your sins. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. God waits for us to take the first step, for us to be ready to come to Him and give things over to Him. Today pray and ask God to forgive you, then ask Him to help you change, to help you overcome whatever it is you are struggling with. And when you do this He will forgive you and He will help you. If you are struggling with a sin or something else that is entangling you go to someone you can trust and ask them to pray with you. The Bible talks about the power of prayer when two or more agree. Plus it’s always good to have someone who can keep you accountable so that we don’t fall back into the same sin.
God wants you to know that He is faithful to keep His promises. God wants to set you free, but you have to want to be free. He’s waiting for you, just reach out to Him because His hand is already stretched out for you.
(Accompanying Song: Losing By Tenth Avenue North)