When it comes to forgiveness there are reasons why people do not forgive. It is important to recognize that not forgiving is disastrous to your life because it creates internal hindrances that will prevent your life from progressing toward all that God has in store for you. Recognizing the excuses people have for not forgiving will help you see not only what they are; but that if you hold to any of them that you can overcome them and forgive and live in the freedom that comes with it.
- I don’t have unforgiveness issues.
Those that believe they do not have any unforgiveness in most situations do not truly know the depths of forgiveness nor do they know all of the symptoms of unforgiveness Jeremiah 17:9-10 tells us, ‘”The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” It is wise to not rely on your own wisdom to whether or not you believe you don’t have any issues of forgiveness. A much more prudent route would be to seek the Lord and let Him show you what areas of forgiveness are evident. See; because we are all born into sin we have a biased opinion of ourselves and simply dismissing that there may be an issue of unforgiveness or its symptoms is dangerous the level of self-deception can and will destroy us. With almost 40 symptoms of unforgiveness simply dismissing that there are no issues with it without a full understanding is a slippery slope you do not want to venture on.
- I already did.
If you are like me I thought I forgave. I said the words. I had no problems saying that I said those words. And of course years ago. What must be understood is just because you say the words ‘I forgive’ does not mean anything if they are just words. This is a trap. It is a trap that I fell into for decades. I truly believed that because I said the words that it meant I was free; however, it was obvious to those who knew some of the symptoms that I had no understanding or grasp of forgiveness. Reflect for a moment before dismissing the idea that perhaps you have not forgiven. Look in the mirror and truly take an inventory before the Lord. Ask Him if you already did forgive and to the full or if you simply said the words to continue forward yet really are not going forward because you never forgave. Do not be deceived in this area as it can steal your life. If you have any anger, resentment, bitterness or feel separation from God there is a good chance that unforgiveness may too be lingering. It’s best to seek the Lord to ensure your victory and not allow yourself to live the less than what He has future as a result.
- You don’t know what they did.
The trap with the belief that what others have done is a reason to behave in a certain way is one that causes many people to fall. What other people did do, are doing, will do; or anything else has no impact or reflection on the decisions that any of us are required to make in accordance with God’s Word. Allowing the sins of others to be the controlling factor in whether or not you choose to forgive is a set up for failure. It is giving others control over your life and on purpose. It is not an escape route but rather a death sentence.
When the focus is on what other people have done it reveals that the focus 1) is not on the Lord, 2) is not on that of seeking the Lord to be living a lifestyle of obedience through forgiveness. Not only this; if you spend your time focusing on what they did with a judgmental or critical attitude then won’t you need forgiveness for that? As a result any person at any time can make the choice to focus on what someone else’s faults and sins are but why? Why not just focus on the Lord and seek Him as your refuge and judge and let Him handle it accordingly? In the end it will release you from any and all bondage and will keep you in the righteous standing with Him.
- I don’t know how
Not knowing how to forgive may sound like a reasonable reason to not forgive; but not really. The reason is that there are numerous tools available and in reality; you do not need to look any further than God’s Word which provides answers to all of mankind’s problems. If you truly want to forgive then do it. Provers 13:4 makes it clear:
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Craving peace, joy and the rest of the fruit of the spirit is one thing; obtaining it is quite another. It is not possible to achieve something you are not willing to go after. Forgiveness is and must be the lifestyle of a Believer and not knowing how to forgive may be a temporary status; although living in that status simply means you have chosen death over life which is contrary to God’s command to choose life. Learn how to forgive and then live.
- It won’t matter.
The lie that it does not matter if you forgive or not is a lie from the enemy to keep you living in bondage. Remember that anything that brings you closer to God is something that the enemy does not want. Forgiveness is obedience to God. Period. The enemy will thwart your endeavors and so long as you believe the lie you are defeated. He will temp to you to believe that forgiveness does not matter for whatever reason he wants you to believe. It does matter that you forgive. It is your life that is at stake and believing any lie that it is not relevant is as like believing that accidents never happen when people text and drive!
Whether or not you share with the person that you forgive face to face or by letter may not be as important; although forgiveness is vital. It is evident in the New Testament that it is extremely important because Jesus talked and taught about it and the Father gets angry when we choose to not forgive. Now this would make sense since it was His Son who died on the Cross for forgiveness of yours and mine sins. It matters!
1 Corinthians 12:8-9 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Forgiveness Tip #9
Forgiveness is the pathway to life restored.
Julie Blair is President of Julie Blair Ministries and host of ‘Living in Forgiveness’ television and radio programs that airs daily to over 3 Billion people on 5 continents. To learn more about forgiveness and the love of Christ or to speak to your church or business visit www.julieblair.com
Image belongs to its owner.