THE TOTAL CHRISTIAN: How Unforgiveness Blocks God’s Blessings
Do you know the power of forgiveness? Better yet, do you know the destructive nature of unforgiveness? Unforgiveness, fear, bitterness, cynicism, vengeance: all are characteristics which Satan uses to infect us, destroy our peace of mind, inspire our ungodly actions and agendas, and eventually, destroy our souls.
Jesus stresses the importance of forgiveness when He asks us to forgive in the Lord’s Prayer. In Matthew 6:12 ESV, Jesus says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” And in Mark 11:25 (ESV): “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Many other scriptures in the Word also point to the importance of forgiving:
- Matthew 5:8 (ESV) – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Matthew 12:31-32 (ESV) – Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
- Romans 12:20 (ESV) – To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
- Ephesians 4:26 (ESV) – Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
- 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 (ESV) – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
- Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) – “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
REPENTANCE AND FAITH OPEN THE DOOR
It’s not enough to just say we love God with our mouths, however. In order to receive God’s blessing and to show that we love Him, we must also repent: which means embracing the character-building, soul-searching process of dissolving and eliminating the deeply entrenched roots of pain and bitterness and the underlying causes of our hardened hearts and afflictions (Romans 12:2). In other words, if we want to be blessed; if we want to be free to walk into the powerful life God has created us for, then we must increase our faith in Jesus Christ and open our hearts to forgiveness.
Watch below as our Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. discusses the power of forgiveness:
IMAGE: Ben Ostrower for Unsplash.