Holding a grudge against someone hurts us more than them. Unforgiveness does not rob us of our salvation but it does break our fellowship with God. God hears your prayers but he will not honor them.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Unforgiveness is a form of poison leading to bitterness and resentment. It will keep you up at night and ruin your sleep and your life. Forgiving others actually helps you more than them. It takes you out of the way so that God can then work on their lives. God will deal with those who hurt us if we’ll put them in His hands through forgiveness. The act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we’ve sown our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of blessing to us one way or another. We will then have the freedom to move forward with our lives, past the hurt and into God’s peace and grace. I become a much happier and healthier person when I let go of the poison of being unforgiving.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Do not become a punching bag for Satan to torture. Forgive others quickly and often. Do not to let the sun go down on your anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity.
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Forgiveness is an action you can decide to take right this minute (even if you do not feel like it). Practice an action enough times and it will become a habit. Practice a habit long enough and it becomes part of your character.
Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you (teachers, bosses, friends and family). Pray for their happiness and welfare. Forgive the person who badly hurt you long ago and also the stranger who cut in front of you in the grocery store. Take those two extremes and forgive them in addition to everyone in between. Forgive quickly. The quicker you do it, the easier it is.
How has God forgiven you? Freely you have received, freely give. To forgive means “to excuse a fault, absolve from payment, pardon, send away, cancel, and bestow favor unconditionally.” When you forgive, you must cancel the debt. Do not turn yourself into a debt collector. They could never pay their debts anyways!
Vengeance belongs to the Lord; He’ll repay and settle the cases of His people. Let God pay you for past injustices. And don’t forget while you’re forgiving others to also, forgive yourself for past sins and hurts you have caused others. You can’t pay those people back either, so ask God to work it out for you.
Perhaps you may even feel the need to forgive God for allowing painful and frustrating things to come into your life. Perhaps your life has not turned out exactly the way you wanted? (I know mine has not). Know without a doubt that God is just and he loves you more than you love yourself! He has a plan and a purpose for your life and everything he has and will allow into it is part of his plan.
Unforgiveness is spiritual poison and sits on us like a filthy coating of scum, so get washed in the water of God’s Word. Forgive others and yourself and stay clean.