Read: Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 11:28, John 14:6, 1John 1:9, Psalm 55:22, Revelation 3
Are you someone who has suffered emotionally, and perhaps physically at the hands of others? Have emotions such as anger, resentment, hate, hostility, bitterness and revenge entered your heart and mind? Have you become filled with an unforgiving spirit?
Unforgiveness can be a hidden culprit. It can make you a prisoner within yourself.
When an unforgiving spirit LIVES inside you, it isn’t bothering those who have wronged you. They’ve gone on their way. But you are still holding onto something that has taken control of your thoughts, actions and words. It eats away at you like a poisonous cancer, and you find yourself bound, with no peace. In reality, you are punishing yourself.
But to forgive in your own power becomes futile, because your heart must first be cleansed of all that the things that unforgiveness creates. Only Jesus can make that happen. He laid down His life and shed His blood to give us the gift of salvation and clean up our hearts. Through Him, there is freedom and victory.
God says “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, KJV) Isn’t rest what we long for when filled with the torture of an unforgiving spirit?
According to 1 John 1:9, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to . forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (KJV). So why not dare to invite Christ into your heart? Cast your care upon Him. Let Him do the cleansing. Let Him to take that unforgiving spirit out of your heart and give you a new heart with a forgiving spirit. You could pray a prayer like this – “Lord Jesus, forgive me for bearing a grudge toward the person who has wronged me. Come into my heart, take control of my life. Cleanse me of this unforgiving spirit, and fill me with a forgiving spirit.”
One man who prayed a similar prayer said, “I’ve got peace in my heart, and I’ve got love in my heart for those who have wronged me. One of the greatest possessions I own now is a forgiving heart.” His burden had been surrendered, and freedom was his.
The Bible says “If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14,15, KJV).
That may seem harsh. But why shouldn’t God expect you to forgive those who have offended you, when He has forgiven you of so much more?
Choosing to forgive, is a choice of your will. When you make that choice your heart is then open and ready for the Lord’s cleansing.
Choosing not to forgive, is also a choice of your will. But the door of your heart is then shut and God will not do His cleansing work.
THINK ABOUT IT. . .
Are you harboring an unforgiving spirit? What’s preventing you from letting it go? Remember, it is harming you far more than the person who has made you angry. Give it to God and ask Him to cleanse your heart and free you to experience His love and freedom.
“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
If you prayed this prayer today, we would love to hear from you . Perhaps we could connect you with a mentor or provide resourceful links that could help you in this new journey.
by Dr. Henry Brandt
Author, Teacher, Christian Counselor, Consulting Psychologist
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