“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
The verse above is a lesson that Jesus taught about forgiveness. He tells a parable about a man who had a debt, and when he asked for forgiveness from the person to whom he owed money, that person immediately forgave him. As soon as this man was forgiven of his debt, he went to someone else who owed him money and demanded that they pay their debt or go to prison. Once it was discovered how this man was not willing to forgive the person who wronged him, the lord who forgave him came back and delivered him to the tormentors until he paid back his debt.
Forgiveness is a key element in life needed to enjoy life to its fullest. As hard as you may try, you are going to find yourself in a situation when someone has wronged you. It is in these moments of life that determine what your future will become. Let me show you several dangers of unforgiveness.
First, unforgiveness makes you spiteful instead of compassionate. When you read the story about this unforgiving servant, you see how his unforgiving heart caused him to be malicious and vindictive towards others. You will never have a right perspective towards others when your heart is filled with unforgiveness. When you are unforgiving, you will find yourself being judgmental and hateful towards those who have been broken by sin.
Second, unforgiveness makes you angry instead of being patient. You will always find those who are unforgiving to be angry people. When you find a person who is angry, you can often trace their anger back to a situation where they feel they were wronged. The worst thing you could do is to live your life with an angry spirit because of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will cause you to become quickly angered at people and hurt your ability to have quality relationships.
Third, unforgiveness makes you impatient with another’s shortcomings. It is amazing how this unforgiving servant was impatient after he had been forgiven. Not only will the unforgiving person become judgmental of others, but they will quickly consider people useless who do wrong. You will find the unforgiving believer will often lose their ability to believe in the restoration of the fallen.
Fourth, unforgiveness always hurts your testimony for Christ. When the fellow servants saw the unforgiveness of this man, “they were very sorry.” This man could not have helped his fellow servants if he had the ability to because he lost his testimony when he wouldn’t forgive. Forgiveness is the greatest credibility builder that validates your Christianity. The easiest way to build your testimony is to be forgiving, and the quickest way to lose it is to be unforgiving.
Fifth, unforgiveness affects every relationship. Not only did the unforgiveness hurt this man’s relationship with his fellow servants, but it also hurt his relationship with his lord. You will find that unforgiveness will hurt your relationship with the LORD, and it will hurt your ability to have a quality relationship with every person, even those who are closest to you.
Who is it that you have not forgiven? Don’t let the sin of unforgiveness ruin another day of your life. The greatest day of your life will be when you have no ill-will towards any person.