Prison Of Un-Forgiveness


Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 18:23-35

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number eight of 12: “We made a list of all persons we have harmed and are willing to make amends.”

Did you know that you could harm someone by harboring ill feelings toward them? So many of us have imprisoned a deadbeat dad, ornery neighbors, disrespectful children, and others that have offended us. We have locked them up in prisons of un-forgiveness and thrown away the key. The problem is wherever we have imprisoned people that have hurt us, we become their cellmates without even realizing it, and we will rot there together unless we change our ways.

More than a pleasant thought

Forgiveness comes by divine order and through the power of God. It is not a principle that we can take lightly. The Bible says that all of us have sinned against God, and the penalty for sin is eternal death. Therefore, if you are sharing in this devotional thought with me, it is apparent that God has extended divine forgiveness to you. Dead people cannot read devotions. Having received forgiveness from God when our sins were the cause of Jesus’ death is reason enough for us to be gracious and forgive people who have hurt us.

This seems simple enough until we recount the many ways people have offended us. Spouses have abandoned us. Armed assailants have shot, stabbed, and beaten us. Societies have subjugated us. The media has mischaracterized us. We have been spat upon, lied to, and downtrodden. Yet, these difficulties pale in comparison to the things we have done to the God, who created us.

Freed From Grudge-Bearing

How do we reconcile this? The Bible says that God will forgive us in the same manner we forgive others. So, really there is only one thing we can do. We need to ask God to help us appreciate His mercy so much that we would not even consider holding a grudge against a fellow human being. The blessing in all this is that living by this principle is so far outside our capacity to accomplish that God has promised to provide supernatural grace for us to do so. With God in our corner and His Spirit empowering us to live according to Christ’s example, we can do all He has commanded. We can free those who have hurt us from their prisons, and as a result, we can also be free.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Ken Daniel

    The concept of Forgiveness is probably one of the most important and misunderstood concepts we deal with on a regular basis.

    I reviewed this by myself years ago when I was bogged down with my feelings toward someone. It was creating real problems for me. I was heavy laden.

    I decided to take a look at the word and the concept and see what I could do with this thing that I had regularly been admonished to do by those who knew!

    It looked to me like it was a compound word, in that it was made up of multiple parts.

    for – meaning that which is done/gone before/beginning

    give – the bestowing of something to someone

    ness – the process of doing something

    In this case the ‘give’ would be absolution for having done something.

    We have always been taught that forgiveness was something that we do in ‘arrears’. This seems to be considered to be a difficult thing to do, and it seems to be true. The source of this negative thinking, I believe, originates from a source that I heard from someone who referred to it as his ‘inner pauper’.

    If I am correct in my understanding what the structure of the word is correct, it would seem that the appropriate thing to do would be to offer the absolution in advance. I believe that this is what the Lord God did, and when we experiment with it, do you think that maybe you won’t even see the burden that you are saying is so heavy?

    Try this: Make a decision that you will drop all of the things that you believe that are negative in your evaluation an that you will remember them no more! I believe that this is what the Lord God does and do you think maybe this is why He lives where He does, and maybe that is why where He is is so great? Is it possible that if you do what He does, you might be able to make where your are like where He is?

    Quite a thought isn’t it! If you have to pray in order to get this done, by all means pray. If you believe that you must have permission to do and experience…you have my permission. Go and Forgive…the person you are forgiving probably doesn’t even know you are suffering alone, and will be happy if you alert him/her that you have finally decided to live the good life!

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