“Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
“For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
Why does God put so much stock into forgiveness? Doesn’t He know what I’ve been through? Doesn’t He know how much they have done me wrong and hurt me? How can I forget it? How can I let it go? I have a right to hate them don’t I? They deserve all the hate I have! Hey, I’ve been right here in this place of hate. I have hated people who hurt me deeply to the point where I wanted them dead and burning in Hell. The words I spoke over them were hate-filled and the anger I had was murderous. It’s a very dangerous place to be spiritually.
But when I finally let it all go, the freedom I had! I could pursue a relationship with my Father. I was cleaned up inside and out. I came to realize that it is just not worth it. Hatred and unforgiveness completely shuts down any relationship you may have with the Lord. Your prayers just bounce off the ceiling. Why is this so?
God gave His only begotten Son to die for your sins and my sins. Every sin, even the sins of hatred and unforgiveness. This was a huge price for Him to pay for your soul. When you came to Jesus and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, He forgave you. He forgave ALL your sins and wiped them away. How then can you hold out a debt to someone else who has done you wrong? That is His heartburn with unforgiveness. He absolutely expects His children to walk in the same level of grace and mercy that He does.
Those who call Jesus Lord, and refuse to forgive others are in a dangerous place spiritually because when you sin, it won’t be forgiven even if you ask for forgiveness. He won’t forgive you until you forgive every last person who has wronged you. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but nonetheless true. It is just not worth holding on to! Let it go and let God’s forgiveness and blessings begin to flow into your life again…