Kicking Out Unforgiveness

Duane Vander Klok

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

Forgiveness can be a difficult subject to apply to your life, but thankfully we have a great model to follow in Jesus. Jesus taught us to pray until we forgive. When we refuse to forgive, we let the enemy in and give him access to our lives.

There is often a misconception that forgiveness sets the other person free from their sin, but it really sets you free from bitterness and resentment. Holding unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Unforgiveness and joy cannot coexist in your heart. But forgiveness kicks the bitterness out of your heart to make room for God’s peace and joy to return. We can all understand that forgiveness is hard because what was done caused deep hurt and disappointment. Some offenses and betrayals are deeply wounding, and forgiveness does not make what they did okay, but it does release you from the weight of it.

Many people think that forgiveness is based on your feelings, but forgiveness is a decision not a feeling. James 2:26 says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. So as you exercise your faith and forgive someone, your actions need to follow. Your anger may still pop up, but your actions need to follow your faith. The biggest action to take is praying for the person you have forgiven. When you pray for someone, God enlarges your heart for them and will show you how He sees them.

If you are working on showing forgiveness, ask God to help you do the work in your heart so that you can show the supernatural forgiveness you received to those around you.