Un-forgiveness is a Robber!
I’m sure you know people who keep bringing up the past. Perhaps you are one of them. But that is a dangerous thing to do.
The Bible says: “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.” Ezekiel 33:16.
I love this verse. It gives more than the promise of forgiveness. It also brings hope for the future. The sinner’s forgiven sin shall not be remembered. It shall not be mentioned to him!
Just look at what a robber un-forgiveness is:
An unforgiving spirit robs sinners of Hope!
God’s plan of salvation brings hope to people. Jesus did not come into this world to condemn people, but to forgive them. Unforgiveness is so contrary to God’s plans.
Then again, it brings defeat to those who are forgiven.
Disciplining a member of the Corinthian church, Paul wrote to them to tell them they must now embrace him. “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” 2 Corinthians 2:6-7.
And then again, bringing up the past discourages the sinner. It has no beneficial effect.
Sometimes we use the excuse that they keep on sinning, and so we must remind them of their past. Jesus did not teach that kind of forgiveness. He said when your brother keeps sinning, you keep forgiving.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22.
The next thing is this: Unforgiveness Robs God of His Glory. Forgiveness is something wonderful because forgiveness reflects God’s attrubutes.
For example, His Fatherhood.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.” Psalms 103:12-13.
Here we see the compassion of our Heavenly Father. He pities and comforts us – and we see that compassion in His forgiveness.
Another example is that He forgives FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE!
“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” Psalms 79:9
God forgives for His Name’s sake. If God will not remember a person’s sins for His great Name’s sake, what right do we have to remind them of their sins?
Also God’s reverence is involved in forgiveness:
“But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” Psalms 130:4.
We stand in awe at this Omniscient God Who could snuff out our lives, but instead forgives. Those who have been forgiven much love Him much!
And one last thought: An unforgiving spirit will rob US!
It will rob us of God’s forgiveness:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:” Matthew 6:14
And it will also rob us of a sane estimate of ourselves. Un-forgiveness fools us into thinking we are infallible. Yet the Bible warns us: “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12.
When we bring up a person’s past, we are forgetting that we have a future.
We do not yet know what temptations await us around the corner, and how we shall respond to them.
An unforgiving spirit also fools us into seeing ourselves as superior.
In his prayer at the dedication of the Temple, Solomon – the wise man – makes it clear that we are all the same. We are all sinners, and we will all sin, and we will all need forgiveness:
“There is no man that does not sin” …” 1 Kings 8:46.
Un-forgiveness robs us of a blessing. It even makes our offerings valueless.
There is no point even bringing an offering if we have un-forgiveness in our heart. It cannot be received. Oh, it may be received by the church treasurer, but it will not count in Heaven!
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:23-24.