One of the greatest things that we can give others is forgiveness. It frees them, but it also frees us. When we do not forgive there are many scriptures that tell us that we live in torment. When a person does not forgive offenses, they become bitter.
I personally knew a lady that had rheumatoid arthritis so bad that her fingers were gnarled and contorted out of shape, and she could not work. When she was younger, she lived a sinful lifestyle, and her parents took her two children away from her to raise them. She could visit them, and actually lived in an adjoining trailer, but she did not have a say in how they would be raised.
She resented the fact that her parents had done this to her. She was very bitter about it. One day I ministered to her and told her that the Lord could heal her. I told her the Lord had revealed that the reason for her rheumatoid arthritis was her bitterness towards her parents. I also told her that if she would forgive them and truly let it go that God could heal her.
It was very difficult for her to let go of her hurt and hatred, but she finally decided to do it. We prayed, and each of her fingers became straightened out. The bitterness left her body, and God had brought healing to her. She could bend her fingers again just like before they had grown so gnarled. It was a miraculous healing.
A few weeks later I saw her, and her hands once again were crippled with arthritis. I asked her what happened, and she said she just could not forgive her parents. Because she took that bitterness back into her heart, she lost her healing. As far as I know she never released this bitterness and died very young.
Bitterness and unforgiveness have destroyed many lives, even Christians. Jesus told the parable about the man that owed a great debt and was going to be thrown into prison until he could pay it off. He begged the man that he owed the debt to not to do it and that he would pay the debt. The debt holder was so moved with compassion that he not only forgave him the debt but released him from it. Later the man that received the cancelled debt tried to make a man that owed a small debt to him pay back all of it. He begged him to give him time, but he would not do that. He did not have any compassion towards him and threw him into prison. When the first debt holder heard what he did to the other man he brought him back in before him and told him that he would have to go to prison and pay the entire debt. It would be a time of gnashing of teeth by demons until the debt was paid in full.
Think of this my friends, if you are in a prison for your debt there is NO WAY that you can ever repay it. This is what happens when we do not forgive others. Jesus came to die on the cross and pay our sin debt. It had to be paid with sinless blood. We do not have sinless blood, so we have no way to pay it. We are in bondage to Satan forever. But, while we were yet sinners, Jesus paid off our debt by shedding his sinless blood for us. All we must do to receive that sin debt cancellation is to accept it from Jesus. Yet, if we do not forgive others, we will still be in bondage. This parable clearly shows us the seriousness of not forgiving others. I certainly would not take a chance to hold anything against anyone for fear that my debt would not be paid.
If you have any unforgiveness now is the time to get things right with that person. If they died, still forgive them. No matter what the offense is, we have no right to harbor unforgiveness. Let it go. Ask God to help you want to do this if you are struggling with it.
Do not be like my friend that lost everything because she let that bitterness and unforgiveness back in. You have a choice to not be like that. Remember forgiveness is a gift from God that we pass along to others. We do not keep it, we share it.
Missed some of Helen's messages? click here to read