The Bondage of Unforgiveness in the Life of a Believer

The Bondage of Unforgiveness in the Life of a Believer

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37

You will never have to forgive anyone more then you yourself have been forgiven by God. Unforgiveness will leave you miserable. We forgive for our own happiness and benefit. When we do not forgive resentment and bitterness can defile all aspects of one’s life. Forgiving means to give up all resentment and the ability to exact revenge to get even. As we are called to be more like the Son of God (1 John 2:6) we can know how much we are in his likeness by our love and forgivenness of others. You know the grace of God as much as you are able to show it to others. No one will ever deserve to be forgiven, we must forgive because God forgives us. We judge and condemn others because we have not forgiven them and have not sought to bless them and see them bettered. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) we say to the Lord: “Come, O Lord, and forgive me my sins even as I forgive those who sin against me.”

The Lords Supper and Unforgiveness

On speaking of those who would come to partake of communion with unforgiveness John Chrysostom says, “As it is not to be imagined that the fornicator and the blasphemer can partake of the sacred Table, so it is impossible that he who has an enemy, and bears malice, can enjoy Holy Communion.” Our Lord teaches us to seek forgiveness first before worshipping God, for we ourselves need forgiveness to enter into his holy presence (Matthew 5:24). Of the many sins we can commit unforgiveness is a terrible sin, it is refusing to do what God himself did in offering his Son to forgive our sins. When we harbour unforgiveness we are helping the devil to expand his kingdom as it is a kingdom of accusation, unforgiveness, slander, lies and evil.

John of Kronstadt says, “Forgive them that trespass against you with joy, as a good son rejoices when he has a chance of fulfilling the will of his beloved father.”

The Lord’s Prayer and Unforgiveness

Many godly believers in the past have recommended to pray the Lord’s prayer multiple times a day, in many Church traditions every sunday the Lord’s prayer is recited. In the underground North Korean Church they put emphasis on reciting the Lord’s Prayer together. One of the benefits of this practice is daily you can check your heart if you have any unforgiveness in it towards someone. As our Lord shows us that we should expect God to forgive us debts as we also have done to others. Some brothers and sisters claim that they do not have unforgiveness towards an individual but in their hearts their actions show they do have this poison.

The Lord has forgiven us and does not hold or accuse us over sins that have been forgiven, but when we say we forgive others, we still hold their sins to the light, such is not true forgiveness.

Only God is the one that can truly help someone that has sinned.

When humans try and fix a problem without God it ends up getting much worse. When we forgive others we also release ourselves from bondage and open the door for God to bring healing to our heart. When we hold onto bitternress, resentment, and unforgivenness we can suffer throughout life with problems and end up hurting ourselves much more.

The Torment of Unforgiveness

John Chrysostom says, “Just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful and retains an enemy will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils, Yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offences of those who have aggrieved us. What can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy.”

The amplified bible translation says, “Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).

You cannot have forgiveness towards others and gossip about them.

To bless is to speak well of them and to curse is to speak in a wrong accusing way. When we carry resentment for feeling we have been unfairly treated by another in the body of Christ we end up putting ourselves in harms way as well as hurting others. Unforgiveness is spiritual filthiness, a poison for your soul, a prison of torment. Forgive and give the individual to God and even have the grace to love and accept the individual again.

The Christian Journey is the blog of Greg Gordon exploring areas of Christian Unity, Early Church and other devotional thoughts.