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Can a Christian harbor Unforgiveness? (Part 2 of 3)

But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matt 6:15)

Is it impossible for a Christian to have unforgiveness in their hearts? What I mean to ask is does unforgiveness in my life prove that I am not a Christian, or not forgiven? I believe that we are all in a walk, and growing in our faith. One is a Christian when they surrender their life to Jesus. There is a point in time when we step from darkness to light, from the kingdom of satan (by the way – I leave that “proper name” all lower case just to dis satan) to the kingdom of God. And at that point in time, you are no longer under the condemnation of God. You have begun a walk that will never end. From this moment, right through all eternity, we continue to grow more and more like Jesus.

So one day you are just walking along and you see someone who once hurt you deeply, walking down the aisle of the grocery store. You avoid them like crazy, trying not to end up picking out soup together. God points out a place in your heart where there is still pain, and maybe even anger. You remember what they did to you like it was yesterday. What do you do about it?

God is a genius at walking our faults right up in front of us, so that we can deal with them and turn them over to Him for healing.

What would Jesus do?

That’s actually pretty easy, because He already did it. Or perhaps I should say the Father already did it. Check this out – God did not hold your sins against you. Consider this passage from 2nd Corinthians: “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18-19)

Here is the key to living in community, and it will work in the Church, or in the work place, or even in your home. Don’t count their trespasses against them. [Tweet This] It is actually the job that you have been given from the Father according to this verse. You have been given the ministry of reconciliation – namely – not holding their trespasses against them.

So this goes for the lost you are trying to reach, as well as the family you are wishing you didn’t have to go visit this weekend. If you can cut them the same slack you cut yourself when you fail or fall short, or mess up, you will find that you can do a much better job of loving them.

Have you ever noticed that when someone rides up the shoulder of the highway and swerves right in front of you, they are a jerk, but when you find yourself in an awkward situation on the road, and have to slip into line, it has to do with circumstances beyond your control, and you were simply forced to do it. It wasn’t what it looked like right? Or how about when you are on line in the grocery store and it is taking forever. You are the next in line, and suddenly the next register over opens up, and some guy walks up just as they open, and gets out of the store before you have actually gotten to the cashier. You feel like – why didn’t they ask me to come over and go first. It’s not fair!!!!! Hmmm – it’s stuff like this that constantly tests your ability to forgive, to step back and not hold others trespasses against them. To take a look from their point of view.

Stop in tomorrow when I talk about the Fringe Benefits of forgiveness

If you missed yesterday’s post check it out here. Forgive It or Forget It!

Thanks for stopping in today.


Sign photo credit: quantumlars via photo pin cc

Soup photo credit: Ben Nelson

0 thoughts on “Can a Christian harbor Unforgiveness? (Part 2 of 3)

  1. Caddo Veil

    This is so great, Ben--I will always remember March 2011, the week going into Easter (Easter week, we called it when I was very young) as the turning point in my life. I dumped out 50 years of unforgiveness, and felt at least 20 pounds lighter. Those chains which hold us in bondage are seriously real, and heavy! God bless you, brother--love, sis Caddo

    1. Ben Nelson

      That is a wonderful picture. Like in pilgrim's progress when he drops the load off his back.
      You can see now why i had to chuckle when you said what you did about the grocery store yesterday.
      God bless you right back.

  2. Debbie

    I was thinking about Sis Caddo's grocery store comment too! Wow!
    Thank you, Ben, for showing us about forgiveness, to not hold their trespasses against them. I know forgiveness is so important for me and the faster I can forgive the better. God bless you!

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hey - Thank you for reading these long posts. This is such important stuff if we want freedom in our lives, and it is so counter everything the world wants us to do.

  3. Judy

    "God is a genius at walking our faults right up in front of us...". Amen to that! And he does it so gently and perfectly that I am truly thankful to him for revealing them to me so that he can heal me. The best way for me to find forgiveness for others is to remember how often I need forgiveness and grace from God and others. Good posts - thanks!


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