Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you,not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! Matthew 18:21-22
Unforgiveness, something that ruins friendships, marriages, and even complete lives. Unforgiveness is something we harbor in our hearts, holding it in our hearts until it cannot be held anymore and permeates our entire lives.
Carrying unforgiveness is like wearing glasses with blinders, you become blind to the good and only focus on your hurt. The funny thing about unforgiveness though, is that it doesn’t hurt anyone but you. The person who caused your hurt may not even ever know you harbor this toward them, in the same sense that this feeling doesn’t hurt the perpetrator, it radically changes the one who carries it.
This is a burden we were never meant to carry. Jesus died for us to be forgiven by our Father, what makes us think that we are just in carrying unforgiveness toward others when the one whom we sin to daily forgives us every time? For some reason in the world we are lead to believe we should love and forgive our neighbors and hate our enemies. How does that make sense? By doing that, we are just as guilty of sin as the one who hurt us.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Through the Spirit we are granted those things, do you see anywhere in there “unforgiveness”? I didn’t think so. It’s tough, believe me I know. But when we forgive others for our sins it gives a small glimpse into the Father’s love for us. Forgiveness is what has given us eternal life.
I won’t lie, forgiveness doesn’t come easy; it’s something I still struggle with. I carried unforgiveness for so long against my dad but you will never have true joy if you’re holding on to this burden.
Pray. Pray for yourself, pray for others. These prayers can start off small. Pray for God’s guidance, pray for Him to teach you how to pray the big prayers. Pray for change, not for the situation to change, but for you to change. Dig deep into the word daily, so that you start seeing Him everywhere.
- But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15
- Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. Proverbs 11:27
- Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2