Matthew 6:14 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The two great enemies against the human soul are guilt and bitterness. And the freedom of forgiveness is the only thing that can combat them. We are freed from guilt when we are forgiven by God. We are freed from bitterness when we forgive others.
There are four compelling reasons to forgive.
– The Grace Factor: We forgive because we have been forgiven.
– The Guilt Factor: If we do not forgive, we can no longer be forgiven.
– The Grief Factor: An unforgiving spirit keeps us in the prison of our own making.
– The Gain Factor: When we forgive, we release a prisoner and gain a brother.
Remember the costly requirements of forgiveness. Forgiveness is much more than merely accepting an apology. It cancels a debt; when you forgive your debtor, then you pay up.
Forgive freely as Jesus did, not after your transgressor has paid his price.
Also forgive and finally; bury it in the grave. When God forgives us, He forgets, not intellectually; rather, He remembers our sins against us no more. There’s no grudge. Adrian Rogers says, “The biggest test as to whether or not you truly did forgive is if you keep bringing it up again.” This may seem difficult to do; but if we will let Him, God will give us the desire and the dynamic to do so.
What are the results of forgiveness?
1. There will be release: you will set a prisoner free and find out that prisoner is you. You will no longer bear this burden of bitterness that is destroying your soul.
2. If your transgressor will receive that forgiveness, there will be reconciliation. You will gain a brother. And together, you will have a revival.
Apply it to your life
Do you have guilt and bitterness in your life? Have you repented and accepted the forgiveness of God? Have you forgiven others?