In Matthew 6 Christ says, “If you forgive those who sinned against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive other, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NLT)
There are several more like it. It is a running theme in the Bible. You MUST forgive others if you have any hope to find forgiveness from God. Period. Not only is it a necessity in the faith, but also a necessity in a person's way of being. I have seen first-hand what the refusal to forgive does to one's mind. In fact, I struggled with it myself.
- It consumes the mind like a cancer.
- It creates unhealthy obsession.
- It creates unnecessary mistrust.
- It causes physical and emotion pain.
- It destroys relationships.
- It makes a person ugly.
- Above all, it hinders one's faith.
Forgiveness sets you free. I can personally attest that my choice to embrace forgiveness was difficult, but it was also the best thing I ever did for myself. Looking back to that dark area in my life, I realize just how trapped and unhappy I was. Forgiveness set me free. It allowed me to move forward in my life.
I know it is hard. Believe me, I know, but it doesn't matter what the situation is. Forgiveness is vital. Every time, I find myself struggling, I remind myself of one thing:
"Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing," Christ called out from his place on the cross in Luke 23.
Christ was willing to look down at the people who put him up on the cross and beg God to forgive them. He was willing to forgive the men who tortured and executed Him.is willing to forgive you. You owe it to Him and yourself to be willing to do the same.