WHY DO I NEED TO FORGIVE WHEN I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS WRONGED?
By Pastor David Stroup III
Forgiveness is a key to healing in your soul and body. The power of forgiveness is seated in the will of God. To forgive others as God has forgiven us is to respond like Jesus did to you and me. People can be/are wicked, disgusting, perverted, twisted, conniving, lairs, murderers, thieves and the list goes on and on. The issue at hand is not, whether the offender is worth forgiving but whether or not you are worth the healing - the answer is a resounding YES! This is why Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them, they don't realize what they are doing." Jesus was taking our sin, shame, penalty, brokenness, foolishness, bad decisions and everything else we could ever do wrong against God or anyone else, and declaring through the Cross, "We have to forgive them so they can heal and then live righteously in Us." It was a powerful move on the Cross. Even thought we saw what we were doing in nailing Jesus to the Cross, we didn't realize Who we were doing it to. Even that didn't stop Jesus in His mission to bring forgiveness of sins to mankind for the purposes of freedom, empowerment and most of all, relationship with God again.
Matthew 6:14-15 teaches us that if we do not forgive others who wronged us, then God cannot forgive us. If you notice vs 12 word usage you will see why. Two crucial words mentioned are, "debt" and "debtors".
To hold unforgiveness in your heart is to owe a debt that cannot be paid by your own works. How is it a best we owe when we were the ones wronged. It is a reflection of a heart issue that causes us to harbor bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. God can only take what we give Him and multiply it for our good when it is according to His Word. When we hold onto unforgiveness, God cannot do anything with that, therefore the debt that we owe stays over our heads. When we forgive, The blood of Jesus then cancels out the debt that is owed against you.
Many people will not tell you this but unforgiveness is a sin. “To know what you should do and not do is sin to you” according to the Scripture.
When Jesus teaches us to pray and says “forgive our debt as we forgive our debtors”, in essence He is teaching us to pray, “Lord the things that we owe, please pay for them as we forgive those who are careless in walking in love and righteousness against us.”
Whether you wronged someone or someone wronged you, it’s just as wrong for you to hold unforgiveness in your heart as it was for the person to do what they did against you. That doesn’t seem fair but it isn’t about being fair it’s about God being just.
Harboring unforgiveness can do more damage to you over a period of time then what the person did to you. Unforgiveness is rooted in pride not hurt.
To forgive is to respond in the fruit of the Spirit. We want to reap a harvest of God’s power and strength in our lives.
When you don’t forgive, you keep yourself tethered to the person that wronged you. When their harvest comes in for their lack of repentance and sin, you don’t want to be connected to that or anywhere near it.
There’s a difference in canceling out debt versus forgiving a debt. When you cancel it you can still hold a grudge, but when you forgive a debt, you hold nothing against the other person in that they owe you. This is what Jesus did for us on the Cross and our sins and the debt of sin that we owed Him are wiped away. Jesus forgave our debt or in other words, forgave our sin so that we could stand before God in righteousness not in debt. So now we stand before God debt free. Our account is in “right standing” according to the account of Jesus.
Years ago I was about to walk through a situation that I had no idea about and the Holy Spirit pre-warned me and said, “David, it’s not forgive and forget. It’s forgive and drop it.” Two weeks later, I had understanding of why He spoke that to me. To free myself from the situation, I had to do just that - drop it.
We would love to pray for you concerning any unforgiveness and help disciple you through to healing and peace. You can visit us at church or contact us and we will minister to you in the power of God and confidentiality. We are here for you!