1. Un-forgiveness is Disobedience
2. Un-forgiveness gives Satan an advantage over us.
3. Un-forgiveness is Bondage.
4. Un-forgiveness is Poison.
Un-forgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. Being mad at another person only hurts you. You might pull away from the other person thinking that you are punishing them, but you are really putting yourself in prison and drinking poison. Every time you think about what happened, instead of getting angry, start to pray for them.
Mat 5:44 KJV
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
Don’t hold on to feelings of bitterness and resentment and let them poison your future. Let go of those hurts and pains. Forgive the people who did you wrong. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made. You may even need to forgive God for allowing it to happen to you.
You will never be truly happy as long as you harbor bitterness in your heart. You will wallow in self-pity, always feeling sorry for yourself, thinking that life hasn’t dealt you a fair hand. You must let go of those negative attitudes and the accompanying anger. Change the channel of your thinking and start focusing on the goodness of God.
CHANGE THE CHANNEL
We all know how to use the remote control to change the channels on the TV. If we see something we don’t like, no big deal – we just flip channels. We need to learn how to mentally change channels when negative images of the past pop up in our minds unexpectedly. Unfortunately, when some people see those negative experiences on their minds’ “screens,” instead of quickly changing the channels, they pull up a chair and get some popcorn, as though they’re going to watch a good movie. They willingly allow themselves to relive all those hurts and pains. Then they wonder why they are depressed, upset, or discouraged. They wonder why they NEVER get over it. Learn to change the channel. Don’t let your mind or your emotions drag you down into despair. Instead, dwell on the good things God has done in your life.
How do we overcome un-forgiveness?
1. TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT ON A REGULAR BASIS!!!
Don’t allow this junk to fester. Don’t pet the pity monster or it will get bigger.
2. WALK IN LOVE
Un-forgiveness is the opposite of love. What legacy are you leaving behind when you die? When you pass away people will not esteem you and remember you fondly for being standoffish or filled with un-forgiveness. NO! They will remember you for the love and warmth you showed to them and others. Forgiveness is a choice; based on obedience of God’s command, that is clearly set forth in His Word… that we “walk in love”.
Think about being out in your yard, watering your garden and your flowers, and you get a kink in the hose… the water stops flowing. If you don’t water your flowers and plants, eventually they will die. Here you are, you have ten million gallons of water sitting in a water tower somewhere, but one little twist, a kink in the hose stops it from flowing.
Listen: We have all of God’s power, God’s blessing, and God’s grace, but a kink, a twist in your heart, of bitterness or un-forgiveness can stop it from flowing in your life. It is important that we get all of those areas free, and the river of life flowing at all times. We have to remember that; out of the heart flow the issues of life. Guard your heart, keep it with all diligence, Solomon said.
We know that Jesus dealt with the inner man, the “hidden man of the heart“, as Peter referred to it. Paul spoke of the inner man, guarding and keeping on the inside.
We are living in an hour where the Holy Spirit is saying: “walk in love.”
Eph 5:2 (KJV)
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”
I like how the Message Bible states this verse…
Eph 5:2 (MSG)
“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of himself to us. We need to love like that.”
3. WE FORGIVE OTHERS THROUGH GOD’S FORGIVENESS FOR US!
How can we forgive? Where do we get the strength? We get it through God’s forgiveness for us. He forgave through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ on the cross. Because He forgave us, when Jesus died and bore our sins and took our penalty, was crucified and buried and then raised from the dead, so that God could offer forgiveness and salvation to every person. This is our pattern, our example, and our help, through faith and obedience to forgive others.
Close your eyes right now. See Jesus on the cross crucified. Do you see his wounds? Can you see the effects of the beatings and lashes he took? Do you see the blood coming down off His forehead where the crown of thrones was placed? Do you see the nails in his hands and feet? Do you see the anguish and love on his face? Place the person who has wounded you into the wounds of Jesus. He died for your sins and those done to you. Have a conversation with the Lord, and choose to forgive “anyone” and “everyone” who has ever offended you. He may bring to your remembrance people who have hurt you and you have not yet forgiven. Speak out of your mouth, through faith, that you choose to forgive and let it go.
Whenever that person comes to your mind, and you think of how you were hurt or offended, or even destroyed, remind yourself that you have chosen to forgive, and each time it will get easier because the Lord will give you the strength. Once you have done this, and choose to walk in love through faith and obedience in the future, hold on to your chair because the Lord will begin to release all those things you have been believing Him for. Weed the garden of your heart and keep all things that are not of love far away from you.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor (quarreling) and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice (malice gets into that area of hatred because of bitterness and resentment).”
Notice these are all cousins, they are all related, and they are in the un-forgiveness family. Bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling, evil speaking (talking ugly about people you are bitter against, you say vile things, slanderous reports, remarks that degrade) and malice (angry hatred) let it be put away (this means to get rid of it; get over it; deal with it; overcome it) it is a command from the Lord.
“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”
In verse 32, the Lord commands us to be kind toward one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving. So don’t just get rid of it, but put positive things in its place. Replace being bitter, angry, speaking evil, and unforgiving with love, mercy, grace, self-control, and forgiveness.
Ephesians 32, continues …as God in Christ forgave you.”
♥God was willing to forgive you before you even thought about repenting.
♥Jesus didn’t wait to die on the cross until after you decided to repent. He died on the cross long before you thought about repenting. He chose to forgive you.
♥If we choose to forgive, as God forgave us, then when are we actually going to forgive?
♥God’s forgiveness is based on His love. It is not based on that person’s response, actions, or repentance.
♥It doesn’t matter what that person does or doesn’t do in order to bring you to forgiveness. It is not about the other person and what they need to do.
♥It’s our being the bigger person and forgiving, that will allow restoration with people who don’t yet know how, or even deserve it.
♥You say “how can I forgive them, they don’t even want my forgiveness, they might not even be alive today.” It doesn’t matter, your choosing to love and to forgive is not based on their response, it is based on God’s love that is inside of you. It is based on what you need to do to be set free from the torment un-forgiveness brings.
♥Forgiveness is a decision not a feeling. We speak our choice to walk in love, and God will give us the strength to let it go. Even if you have to speak out that choice over and over again; “I choose to forgive!” it is better then holding it all in and ignoring it.
Remember you are walking in obedience to God when you choose to forgive. This pleases His heart, and the sin that separated you from God is gone and you become closer to Christ.
♥It wasn’t a suggestion, it wasn’t a pick and choose which person you want to forgive and who you will not; it was a command of God to put away anger, malice, strife, and get rid of it – and learn how to walk in love by keeping it out of your life.
4. BE UNDERSTANDING
We don’t know what that other person has gone through. Don’t say he doesn’t deserve your understanding. Don’t be quick to judge and condemn them in the court of your mind. There is always a reason behind every action. The real purpose in understanding is to help us see the difference between the sin and the sinner. Don’t try to understand the other person. Try instead to be understanding. Forgiveness brings restorations. We are commanded to dwell together in unity!
Psa 133:1-3 KJV
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.”
The Bible says, even though you “understand all mysteries and all knowledge but have not love, you are nothing” (1 Cor. 13). Be understanding. This is what love is. Love is an open, listening ear. Love is a warm, accepting heart. Love is an understanding friend.
Col. 3:12 – 14
“Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely as the Lord has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues.”
Again the Message Bible says it well…
Col 3:12-14 MSG
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
Understanding doesn’t mean you agree with the other person or what they did. Understanding is not unconditional acceptance, but it is acceptance in any condition, in any situation.
5. LEARN TO VALUE OTHERS
All their strengths and weaknesses. No body is perfect! Don’t expect others to be perfect.
Look at that unforgivable person in your life. They are human. They are someone whom Christ died for. No one whom Christ died for can be my enemy. If I love God, how can I keep from loving my brother?
1 John 4:20-21 HCSB
“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from Him: the one who loves God must also love his brother.”
Before you write off the other person stop and think…
♥No one is too low to be an object of God’s love.
♥No one (however evil) is excluded from the forgiveness of God – only if they choose to walk away from it.
♥No one can be considered worthless, when Christ—God Himself—died for them.
♥No one is unlovable—if God loves them, then God can love him through me!
WHAT TRASH DO YOU HAVE?
We all are human. That means we are not perfect. There might be past experiences that have hurt us, or attitudes we’ve developed that are not healthy and need to change. There might be memories that we need to give to God and allow Him to heal, so He can bring closure and help you forgive and get beyond it. These “issues” are the trash that we need to empty from our hearts. They are issues in our life that have built up through time, which will only cause stench if we do not take care of them.
What is stinking in your life?
Are there areas that you have not given up to God? Are there people that you have not forgiven? Do you need to forgive yourself? Do you harbor bitterness, anger, or resentment? Do you have self-righteousness piled up like dirty rags? Do you have pride stinking in your life? Have you not given God control of your life totally and completely? Do you see how you’ve tried to manipulate people or circumstances? Do you have fear built up that paralyzes you? Maybe you are an approval addict and now you see it for the first time. Do you criticize or judge people? Do you always look at the negative or look for the negative report? Do you see your lack of trust for God and want to start learning how to trust Him again? Do you find yourself always complaining? Maybe you don’t have a forgiveness issue, but you have actions or attitudes that you need to change to be more like Jesus. We all have areas in our lives that need God’s tender touch to bring change. Be encouraged to lay down your desires and dreams and allow God to direct your every step.
THE TRASH WILL NOT GO AWAY BY ITSELF!
Wishing the trash would go out will not get the trash out. Hoping the trash would be gone will not get the trash out. Even ignoring the trash will not prevent it from stinking up our homes. This is the same in our spiritual lives. We can wish, hope, or even try to ignore the issues in our hearts that keep coming up, but it will never go away until we turn it over to the Master Garbage Man and let Him take it all away. You will be surprised and stand amazed at what God will do as you yield your life totally to Him. He has a plan for your life and He is just waiting for you to let Him have the steering wheel to take you places you’ve never dreamed before.
Can you think of any Trash that has been piling up in your life? No matter how much trash you have, God has a container bigger! The key is to put your trash out and leave it there. As you do, your life will smell fresher and look cleaner because the Master Garbage Man has come and taken away all the trash that you have left out for Him. You can trust God to take it all away. He is faithful. He will make something new and fresh out of something that was thrown away or forgotten. Then your trash will not overcome you but you will overcome the trash!!
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils