In Part 1 of this blog series we looked at Exodus 8 and how Pharaoh waited a day to have Moses ask God to get rid of the frogs. Carrying unforgiveness around in your heart is like carrying a bunch of frogs around with you. Forgiveness allows us to get rid of these frogs. If you did not read Part 1 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 2, I shared a bit about my personal story and my journey to learn what real forgiveness was. If you did not read Part 2 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 3, I discussed the ideas of admitting we need help, taking responsibility for our own happiness, stop putting it off, and turning your mess into your message. If you did not read Part 3 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 4, I discussed the two major turning points in my life and how one of those turning points involved true forgiveness. If you did not read Part 4 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 5, I discussed some reasons why we fake forgiveness. If you did not read Part 5 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 6, I discussed some of the things that forgiveness is not. If you did not read Part 6 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 7, I discussed what forgiveness is. If you did not read Part 7 of this blog series, you can read it here.
In Part 8, I discussed some ways you can know that you have forgiven someone. If you did not read Part 8 of this blog series, you can read it here.
There are several areas found in the Bible that deal directly with the topic of forgiveness. What I want to do is go through a few of them that I think really bring the point home. The first one is found in the book of Matthew.
Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus gave this prayer to us as a model for how we should pray. It shows the emphasis Jesus places on forgiveness. We need to pray for forgiveness from God after having first expressed forgiveness to others. Because God forgives me, I am then able to forgive others. The converse is that because I have forgiven others, God will forgive me.
We have a tendency to hold on to anger, bitterness, and hatred. It is so hard for us to forgive those who have wronged us in our lives. When we don’t forgive, the person who suffers the most is us. Unforgiveness has the power to destroy our lives and our relationships with others. When we harbor anger, bitterness, and resentment we start doing silly things that we normally wouldn’t do. Sometimes we even do awful things.
When we hold bitterness in our hearts it:
- Blocks your prayer life. This affects us spiritually.
- Hinders your love life. That affects us emotionally.
- Destroys your health. The affect us physically.
Don’t let the tragedy you experience in your life train wreck the whole course of your life. We have all been wronged by others and we all have wronged others. We need to thank God for bringing people we are angry at into our lives. These people reveal our true hearts. This allows God to change us from the inside out. We must also learn to forgive ourselves as well as other people. We need to own our sin and let God forgive us.