Unforgiveness is Costly: 4 Reasons to Forgive Offenses
Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death and the sin of unforgiveness is no exception. It may not be the average sin, but it is a sin of the heart that can be just as deadly. It has the ability to kill dreams, destroy potential, and drain life in ways we never thought possible.
Unforgiveness is costly. It has the power to eat away the healthy parts of you, leaving you spiritually dead. You don’t want to live on the wrong side of offense and find yourself unable to move past where you’ve always been and not understand why.
In the first post of this series, we talked about forgiving others for offenses. In the last post, we discussed how to forgive yourself for past mistakes. Today, in the final installment of the forgiveness series, I’d like to go a bit deeper and share with you 4 ways that unforgiveness is costly to your spiritual growth and development.
1. Delays future blessings and keeps you where you are.
Harboring ill feelings from past hurts and thoughts of revenge will block the blessings of God in your life. God commands that we forgive and to disobey is a deliberate act of defiance toward God and His word. You can’t be blessed and receive all that He has for you with disobedience in your heart. Blessings do not reside in disobedience. You must determine if the past is worth remaining in a state of stagnancy. You can’t move forward looking backward.
2. Keeps you blind to the goodness of God-sent opportunities.
Unforgiveness is costly because it distorts your vision. When the past is your focus, everything and everyone you encounter will always look like where you’ve been. You will self-sabotage the blessings of God because you refuse to focus forward.
Don’t let the past wound you so much that you don’t recognize an open door when its presented before you. That’s how you miss a move of God. Too afraid to walk through doors that are yours when God opens them because of the hurt you felt when He closed the ones that weren’t.
3. You can’t love and receive love.
Unforgiveness is one of those sins that causes you to harden your heart. It makes you build up walls to keep suspect people out. However, you never realize that doing so also runs good people away. It’s what many people call, emotionally unavailable. You see, God instructs us to guard our hearts, not harden them.
When you shut down your heart and refuse to give love, you’re also rejecting the receipt of it because the love that God gives, often comes through people. Closing your heart is not protection, it’s self-deprivation. You never know when God is going to send the one He filled with love made just for you your way. Your heart is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21).
If your heart isn’t ready to receive because it’s filled with anger and bitterness, you’ll ruin the blessing of a good person because you still hold the remnants of a bad one. There’s nothing sadder than wanting love but being unable to have it because you let your heart go cold. Is it really worth the sacrifice?
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.“
Hebrews 3:15, ESV
4. You remain enslaved to your past and the people you left there.
The point of forgiveness is to emancipate yourself. Free yourself to be blessed, loved, and made whole. However, the cost of holding onto offenses is bondage to the past and the person or people who hurt you there. Why allow people who are no longer apart of your life to determine how the rest of your life without them will go?
Get up, reclaim your life, and let them see you live it better than they intended. You can’t do that when you’re still angry and bitter over what was and what could’ve been.
Ask yourself, who will hold the power over how you live the rest of your life, you or them? Before liberation, there must first be confrontation. You must be willing to confront yourself. Call yourself out on your own mess and release the spirit of unforgiveness so you can be unchained from your past.
The purpose of this series was to incite those struggling with unforgiveness toward wholeness. Forgiveness in any capacity either for others or yourself, changes your perspective about what happened to you.
You go from your perspective to God’s perspective. It transforms you from being victimized to being victorious, and you can then say as the Psalmist did in Psalm 119:71, it was good for me that I was afflicted. When you can say that, that’s when you know you have forgiven, matured, and moved on.
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