Summary: Forgiving is not an option. People who are unforgiving will are in bondage.
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
forgiving = “charizomai” --“to bestow a favour unconditionally, is used of the act of forgiveness, whether Divine, or human” (Derickson’s Notes On Theology)
Forgiveness is not an option. Forgiveness is required for those who have been forgiven; we are not given the luxury of holding on to our bitterness towards other people (David Guzik)
Confession [to God for forgiveness] is for correcting things with God. However, if the sin affected others, you must correct things with them as well. Indeed, the correction with others must be a part of correction with God. Confession of your wrong and seeking of forgiveness from others that your sin has affected is necessary. (Derickson’s Notes On Theology)
Forgiveness is something that from others we most enjoy, but toward others we least employ.
Forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary. WWW
If you don’t forgive, you fall into the trap of an unforgiving spirit.
I. CHARACTERISTICS OF AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT (Not completely defining alone.)
A. Restless -- Never able to settle down. (There are many
people who are tossed like a small boat on the waves of the sea. Like the sea, they have low tides and high tides, yet the waves never cease.)
1. Run from job to job.
2. Move from apartment to apartment.
B. Always being hurt by somebody .
C. Have a hard time making friends.
II. THE ATTITUDE OF AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT
A. They think they are better than other people.
(They owe me an apology. I never did anything to
B. Other people make mistakes, but they never do.
C. They are super-sensitive.
1. They take very personally what other people say
(One extreme allows every word spoken to go right
over their head. The other extreme dissects every word looking for an attack.)
2. They become suspicious of others motives and feel
that somebody is going to hurt them (emotionally).
D. They withdraw and become a spectator rather than a
participant. This explains why unforgiving people are
usually lonely, critical, nervous people.
III. RESULTS OF AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT
A. An unforgiving spirit doesn’t hurt the other person;
it hurts you.
1. A person with an unforgiving spirit will build up
aggression on the inside.
(Anger turned inward is almost always destructive.)
2. Many people who carry grudges and harbor malice are
filled with hostility.
3. They are unable to laugh off the little problems that
people sometimes cause; they take these matters seriously and build them into big issues.
4. If somebody pushes ahead of them on the bus, they take
it personally and declare war.
5. If nobody really causes any trouble, the unforgiving
people can usually imagine something and invent a problem to fight about.
B. To harbor grudges, to cultivate malice toward another
person, to refuse to forgive--all of these poison the inner man and produce spiritual and emotional sickness that no
man-made medicines can cure.
IV. REQUIREMENTS TO FORGIVING
A. In order to truly forgive, you first have to be forgiven.
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Psalm 86:5 “For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to
forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that
call upon thee.”
B. You must forgive others, to maintain forgiveness.
Matt. 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
Matt. 6:14 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matt. “6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This is the invariable rule by which God dispenses pardon. He that comes before him unwilling to forgive, harboring dark and revengeful thoughts, how can he expect that God will show him that mercy which he is unwilling to show to others? If we cannot from the heart forgive them, we have the assurance that God will never forgive us. (Barnes’ Notes)
Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye
have ought against any: that your Father also which is
in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:
condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive,
and ye shall be forgiven:”
C. You must forgive others repeatedly.
A. Peter’s Problem with Forgiveness
Matt. 18:21 “Then came Peter to him, and said,
Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me,
and I forgive him? till seven times?”