Have you heard a Christian brother or sister declare that they will never forgive another person, specifically some one who might be just learning how to trust God and accept all that Jesus has done for us? (Matthew 18:35 KJV. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.) Have you ever said, I won’t forgive? 

Have you ever known you had done something that hurt some one? Have you stopped short of a sincere apology and asking for forgiveness because you know how that person does not want to forgive you?

The Bible says that we are to have a forgiving heart especially toward our sisters and brothers in Christ. We, also, are to be careful how and why we judge those around us. (Luke 6:36-37 KJV. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:) Yet, it seems we are especially careless about this command, when we feel personally assaulted. Some how we believe we have the right to wear an, “I hate you for what you said or did to me or my family because you say you are a Christian.” Or “I won’t forgive because I don’t really believe you are a Christian or deserve forgiveness.” These ideas are absolutely contrary to the word of God. (Mark 11:24-26 KJV. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 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. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.)

There are a few people in my life who are angry with other Christians and have stubbornly refused to consider that an argument between them, which spun out of control, was the fuse that caused all parties to sin. The spin off of their argument tempted me to stumble, which I did. I became a party in the sin that one party may have been trying to stop. (Ephesians 4:29-32 KJV. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.) While one of the parties betrayed my confidence, the others guilted me into being emotionally and financially manipulated, to betray my resolve to live holy for Christ and encourage others to do the same. The whole situation was around a sinful scenario and in the end, I compromised. I ended up spending nearly seven months in misery. Even today, knowing what I did is distressing and grieves me. The other parties in this, have moved on, in their own directions. (2 Corinthians 2:6-8 KJV Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.) There is no unity, no forgiveness, no comfort and the party most hurt by these unforgiving spirits is myself. Though, I choose to forgive their trespass against me, the refusal they have to even consider forgiveness causes me pain.

Jesus specifically charges us with forgiveness, especially our brothers. It is a command, not a suggestion. Jesus forgives us all our sins, not just the insignificant ones or those that just hurt others. None of us deserve the forgiveness Jesus offers us. (Romans 6:22 KJV But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.)The consequences of rejecting His forgiveness is an eternity of death, darkness and loneliness. The consequences of refusing to forgive is to cause ourselves to be unforgivable. Does this terrify you as much as it does me?

Mickey Kyler