I’m the type of a person who feels that I do not hold grudges. I feel as though I am the type of a person who immediately forgives. To forgive means to release a person from the punishment that we feel they deserve so that we can move on with our lives. It doesn’t mean the person isn’t guilty or doesn’t deserve to be judged for what they have done; It simply means that we trust God and ordained authority to bring about that justice and judgment in their lives. After all, our ideal of wrath or getting back with a person doesn’t begin to line up with how God would serve justice.
Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:20
However, it was bought to my attention that I had been holding unforgiveness against someone and the reality is I did not realize it. There are some key things that will happen for those who do not yet realize that they are holding unforgiveness against someone.
The unforgiveness becomes an idol: When unforgiveness is an idol, we wake up in the morning and are thinking about that person and what they did. Every morning we wake up thinking about what the person did to us. We simply cannot get past it. We continue to talk to others about it trying to flush things out; instead of talking with the person who offended us to finally resolve it.
Our worship/Intimacy with God becomes affected: There is a reason why the Bible says if we have an offense against our brother to leave our gift at the alter, go speak with our brother and then come back to the Lord to offer our gift. It is because unforgiveness affects our worship. It affects how far we will go with giving our all to God. In a sense, we often give a portion of ourselves to the offense seeking to figure it out, punish the other person, or protect ourselves from hurt from this person again. Everything is centered around them instead of around God. It has become an idol, and God doesn’t like idols because idols hinder us from experiencing God to our fullest potential.
We have a tormenting spirit about the person: We feel uncomfortable when we think of the person, or someone brings them up. We feel uncomfortable when something good happens to the person. We have not forgiven them. The Bible clearly states in Matthew 18 that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. The way that we deal with others is a direct reflection of how we prefer to have ourselves dealt with. That is why we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Placing ourselves in that other person’s position assists us in forgiving that person because we would want others to forgive us. We would not want the world to stop because of our one mistake. We certainly would not want God to no longer give us another chance. I believe that the tormenting spirit loosed as it relates to unforgiveness is an indicator that something is wrong, and that what is wrong needs to be dealt with.
This is where forgiveness comes in. Sometimes forgiveness will take a conversation with the other person especially when there is an opportunity for a relationship to continue to be maintained such as is in the case of family, or close friends. However, forgiveness doesn’t mean dealing with a person from the same position as before. We would not want to set ourselves up for more hurt. We only want to see the situation resolved, so that we can move on. It is okay to practice wisdom in setting boundaries and guarding our hearts.
In the below video, I discuss how unforgiveness produces a sensitivity in an individual that alerts a person off to knowing that something needs to be dealt with. I discuss how unforgiveness can disable a believer’s walk, and even affect our physical bodies. Please, take a look at the video below, and pray to God to give you wisdom to resolve the unforgiveness.
Because if it does not get resolved, it can affect who we are as a person causing us to never reach our full potential over one person and one incident. There are stories where unresolved issues of unforgiveness caused a person to become self-destructive due to the torment instead of using the torment as an indicator to do something about the situation such as forgive.
I think about the late Florence Ballard, a member of the popular singing group, “The Supremes.” After watching an episode of Unsung, I learned that she had been raped after getting a ride home from an event from a trusted friend of hers and her family. Afterward, she became depressed. The guy who raped her was never dealt with by the law due to the family not wanting to prosecute him.
Florence’s two friends, other members of the group, “The Supremes”, encouraged her to continue to sing. She began to drink and get into spats with management. Finally, she was kicked out of the group. I am no expert, but I feel the poor choices that she made after the rape were due to her not resolving the situation. Perhaps the drinking and acting out was a cover for her pain.
So, often we cover and ignore the pain that comes from unforgiveness, but that only makes it worse. Ms. Ballard died in early death due to a heart problem at the young age of 32. I really believe had the situation with the young man been resolved and dealt with, there is a strong possibility that she’d be alive today.
We owe no man nothing but to love them, and we have to start with loving ourselves. Love yourself enough to make the best choice–the choice to forgive.
Click the below picture to be transferred to the Periscope Page to watch video.
Be sure to watch both parts I and II