2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NKJV)
Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
I believe the freedom of our soul that comes from forgiving others is at the top of God's priority. God's grace is extended to give us every opportunity to grow in love while we are "working out our own salvation in fear and trembling," as Paul said to the Philippians Christians in Philippians 2:12. Paul was speaking of the "salvation" of the human soul-the renewing of the unrenewed mind, the healing of the wounded emotions, and surrendering of the unsurrendered will. We cannot renew ourselves, or heal ourselves, but we can surrender our own will. It is through this surrender that the inner healing comes which allows God access to the depths of our souls (to be renewed and healed) in the development of our emotional well being.
Forgiveness is the most basic Christian quality. Without forgiveness, we wouldn’t have Christianity as we know it.
A proper understanding of forgiveness will transform our relationship with God, with others and with ourselves.
The meaning of the word "forgiveness" is: to dismiss, to release, to leave or abandon. Like when a judge has "dismissed" the charges against a defendant. That person is then forgiven of any wrong doing. When a person that is released from an obligation, such as a loan or debt. That person is then forgiven. The word forgiveness also has the meaning to restore someone back to their original condition. The person who has been forgiven of a sin then restored to the condition of not having sinned: the sin has been dismissed and he has been released from any penalty. The case against him has been abandoned or dismissed.
Forgiving people can be one of the toughest things that Christ commands us to do, but it is something that we are commanded to do.
· Forgiveness is a foundational principle to Christian living yet one of the very things that holds many in bondage today.
· Most are fine with the principle of forgiveness but never truly execute its full meaning in their life.
· The absence of forgiveness in a person’s life is a destructive bondage causing; strife, division, depression, oppression, sickness, divorce, and even damnation.
There are 5 Steps TO WALKING IN FORGIVENESS
1 Forgiveness is a command not a suggestion.
God doesn’t want to talk to us until we have reconciled our differences with one another.
2 There is no limit to forgiveness.
3 Unforgiveness holds us in bondage.
4 Forgiveness is a volitional act.
· Not a feeling but a decision.
· It is continual (past, present and future)
· It is of the spirit - not the flesh, not the soul.
· You must be able to see your offender as a living spirit, not an enemy, not some challenge on life’s little merry way, not just a speed bump on your road to paradise.
5 Reconciliation is always the answer.
· We cannot afford any areas of unforgiveness in our life.
· We must keep our conscience clear and keep ourselves reconciled to others.
· Don’t dwell on it
· Command your soul to be subject to you spirit.
Unforgiveness is something that can really hold us back from escaping the corruption of sin and living for God. Unforgiveness comes in many forms, such as bitterness, hatred, malice, holding grudges and resentment. It can actually block God's forgiveness of our sin and provides a foothold for the devil to influence our lives. Additionally, unforgiveness can plant a “root of bitterness” in us that leads to various damaging results (e.g. ruins the fruit of the Holy Spirit, stunts spiritual growth, contributes to physical illness). Like acid can destroy the vessel that holds it, so can unforgiveness destroy us when we harbor it.
Another important aspect of unforgiveness is that it is a form of pride. When we’ve been wronged by someone, we have a natural desire to see justice done. When we withhold forgiveness, we're basically passing judgment on the person. God instructs us to trust in him for the execution of justice. The scripture says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). As God's followers, we must submit our desire for justice to him and trust it in his hand.
This can be very hard to do, especially if someone has spitefully mistreated us or someone we love. Forgiving someone is not condoning what they have done, but rather, it is laying the case before God’s throne and asking him to deal with it according to his will. We have to remember that God saw the evil that was done. He knows how deeply we’ve been hurt. If we can come to the place where we’re willing to forgive the person through Christ’s love, we will be able to move forward and leave the burden of justice in his capable hands.
Satan takes advantage of any of occasion in which we refuse to forgive someone. Holding unforgiveness makes us weak and vulnerable to his attacks. The Greek word from which we get advantage means to reach in and take more than one has a right to. If Satan finds unforgiveness in our lives he will claim it as his right to work in us. Forgiving others is so important that Jesus says we ourselves cannot receive it from God unless we practice it towards others.
Matthew 6:14-15 ( NKJV )
“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.
Holding unforgiveness towards someone locks us into a prison of guilt unable to receive our own needed forgiveness. And, of course living under the chain of guilt will only hinder as in the day of trials. Forgiveness is the only hindrance to faith to faith that Jesus ever mentioned. Therefore, the subject of unforgiveness must be of primary importance.
“ If my prayers and my faith don’t work, the area of forgiveness would be the first place I’ll examine in my life.”
Unforgiveness is a evil spirit,that can but us in bondage, when we are engulfed in unforgiveness. The evil spirit of forgiveness has many of the demons that attach themselves with it, such as bitterness, resentment, hatred, violence, temper, anger, retaliation, distrust, envy, suspicion, selfishness, jealousy, and rebellion.
When we opened the door of unforgiveness, demons have the authority to come in. However, you must try to never permit any unforgiveness about anyone to enter your mind at all. Refuse to think anything evil. Refuse to be resentful towards anyone. No matter what they have done to you- and no matter what they have said to you- refused to let it affect your daily walked in Christ.
You are the light of the world, a city that sits upon a hill, and everyone is watching you. Let your light so shine that man may see your good works of forgiveness and on your job, at home, at school, at church and even while you’re driving your car, forgive.