I wish you could run out to the store and pick up a carton of forgiveness. Or to the drive-thru hamburger joint and order up a combo with an extra dollop of forgiveness on the side. Perhaps a letter to Santa? But no, we must strive with ourselves, let go of inner pain. Say the words … I forgive you.
It is fact that the inability to forgive can make you physically ill. It can change your personality and damage your relationships. What’s more, unforgivingness can block your fellowship with God.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6: 14-15
That’s putting it in simple terms.
I have a young friend who is extremely talented. What’s more, she has a very strong calling on her life. But someone very close to her has offended her, and my friend feels unable to forgive. This is a great tragedy. If she continues to hold this bitterness in her heart, her calling will suffer. Her great talent–made so brilliant in the past, by her great love–will falter. She still has the talent, but her attitude dulls the brilliance.
There are other issues as well. She is suffering from a deep depression. She doesn’t sleep well. She tends to be very cranky, even to her fans. She feels unworthy even of prayer. Sound familiar? Are you suffering as well? All of this could be very easily resolved by following the advice of Jesus in Matthew 6:14-15. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
During this particular season of the year, we are often reminded of the precious gift that was given to us, sometime around 5 or 6 BC, under a very bright star. A Savior, who would go on to give His life for us, taking upon Himself the punishment for our sins. Have we any right to hold on to the sins of others?