“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another … even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13
U is for unforgiveness. To properly define and understand unforgiveness, we must define the word forgive. To forgive is a verb, and it means to cease to feel resentment against (an offender). Forgiveness requires an action. To not forgive requires doing nothing. But, what happens when we do nothing in the area of forgiveness? Well, to begin with, we become more angry, more upset, more annoyed, more bitter, and even more unforgiving.
How in the world can this be? It can! I have seen it … multiple times … where it has dug such deep roots that it has caused these people to suffer tremendous health issues. When unforgiveness is left unchecked, it grows. It will grow to such a point that it literally chokes the physical and spiritual life out of you. This is so sad!
As we saw earlier, resentment in our lives is the true culprit for unforgiveness. When you have resentment toward someone, basically you are either upset, angry, or annoyed. What are some situations that would make us feel this way? Well, it can be a disobedient or rebellious child, a person who does not respect you, a person who has offended you, parents who were over strict or harsh in their relationship with you, a spouse who does not meet your needs or has had an affair, a person that you respect who has not kept a confidence that you shared, a friend who has talked about you behind your back, a person who has abused you (as a child or as an adult), or a person who has ignored or rejected your love.
How can we overcome such great hurts in our lives … and these can cause GREAT hurts? How can we even begin to have a spirit of forgiveness well up inside of us? We are only going to be able to do that when we have put ourselves in God’s shoes … for we MUST forgive as God forgives … for that is what TRUE forgiveness is.
· Look beyond the person’s fault and see the spiritual need of the person … oftentimes the reason that a person has acted a certain way (done a certain thing) is because of what is going on inside of them … in their heart. I Samuel 16:7
· Forgive expecting nothing in return (forgiveness IS a ONE-way street). Luke 23:34a
· God’s forgiveness is forever. Isaiah 43:25
· It never reminds … never brings up again. Hebrews 8:12
· It was His will to forgive … it is not based on feeling; it is a choice; it is a matter or making up your mind; it is a decision that is right in the eyes of God. Luke 23:34a
· Through God’s forgiveness, His loves shines through. Romans 5:8
· Putting aside all thoughts of revenge … taking your hurt and your pain and placing it in Jesus’ hands to let Him judge. I Peter 2:23
Lesson Objective: To understand what unforgiveness is. To learn how we can forgive when that is the last thing that our heart wants to do.
Did you pass or did you fail?
1Info in this devotion is from “How to Forgive…When you don’t feel like it” by June Hunt; Harvest House Publishers