“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Eph 4:26
As you can see here, it is OK to be angry. But it is not OK to let your anger boil over into sin such as revenge, harboring resentment or even holding a grudge.
We are to forgive and preferably soon and definitely before the sun goes down.
Many people live with unforgiveness and carry this around their neck as a ten ton weight upon their shoulders. They are convinced that the other person must first repent and then come and ask them for their forgiveness before they will even consider forgiving them. This is not biblical at all.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote in her book that she had to forgive the Nazi prison camp commandant who was responsible for the death of her father, even though this was the hardest thing ever for her to do.
In Jesus’ prayer which we call the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer, He says:
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Matt 6:12.
It does not say that they must first repent before we can forgive them. Quite the opposite. If they do repent, wonderful, and then we should forgive them up to 70 X 7 times as Jesus said to Peter. That’s up to:
- 490 times in one day or,
- 3,430 in one week or,
- 14,863 in a month or,
- 178,360 times in a year!
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
But what if they don’t repent? Then we are still required to forgive them.
We see this again here:
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:4
Jesus also told us:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;“. Matt 5:44
Again, He did not place a condition of repentance on this.
He tells us here to love, bless, do good to and pray for them while they “hate you” and “despitefully use you, and persecute you“.
It is the character and grace of mercy that He is after to be formed in you.
If you have mercy on others, not condemning them, but ready to forgive them without being coached, coerced or even required to do so and do it from your heart before they repent or even ask for forgiveness, then you will freely be forgiven as well and not be condemned and you will be a true merciful son of your Father.
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. — Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Luke 6:36-37
The same measure you use on others, will be meted on you.
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matt 7:2
Do you really want to be known by your Father that your hardened heart and stiff necked character are such that you will not forgive until someone comes groveling to you in repentance and beg for your forgiveness?
Should He in turn deal with you in like manner?
How about what Jesus says here?
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26
Again, no repentance prerequisite here on the part of the transgressor.
And what about Jesus’ ultimate example after they nailed Him to the cross?
Did He wait to forgive His transgressors until they repented and asked for His forgiveness, or did He from His heart readily and willingly forgive them of His own accord with no strings attached?
Read it here:
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:34
Most people “know not what they do” either when they trespass against you.
You could walk around for years carrying a grudge against them while they have absolutely no clue what they have done and even if so, have long forgotten it while you still cherish it in your bosom and allow it to set your your whole being on fire of hell.
Should you not from your heart forgive them and be done with it?
Should you not freely forgive them just like Jesus freely forgave you of all of your sins and cast your burden on Him as He has invited you to do?
Why would you let this poison control you and your attitude towards them and allow yourself to be consumed in the process? See Unforgiveness is a Bitter Poison.
What you harbor cannot be set free and will keep you bound in your heart. You will be its prisoner while the other goes free without a care in the world.
True forgiveness not only forgives but forgets and does not hold past wrongs against anyone. Just like how Father forgives you and forgets your sins against Him .
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16-17
Since He is omniscient, of course He knows everything, but He chooses to forget and remember your sins no more.
Should we not do the same?
Only when you truly forgive from your heart and are willing to forget, can you be set free.
It is the law if sowing and reaping.
You shall reap whatever you sow. If you sow weeds and thistles of unforgiveness and bitterness then that is what you will reap. If on the other hand you sow flowers and the fruit of forgiveness and mercy, you will reap the same in your life wherever you go.
People have been known to become sick and die from resentment and bitterness caused by unforgiveness and demonically stirred up by the runaway emotions of their heart.
What you feed, will grow.
Instead, mercy will create a bright new path for you where no path existed before and not hinder your walk with God and keep you free to enjoy His fellowship undistracted.
Take Paul’s example of forgiving them unconditionally in the person of Christ so that Satan cannot take advantage of us. Unforgiveness is the enemy’s device and his playground and which has condemned many souls.
“– To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Do it today, my friend. You know exactly who I am talking about. Don’t you?
Forgive that individual right now from the bottom of your heart and be free of your burden and the weight you have been carrying around needlessly all these years.
Maybe it is an old friend, or a parent or a spouse, or an ex, or a child, or a co-worker or your boss. Turn them over to Jesus and with it let the weight drop from your shoulders like a ton of bricks.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
Do not let another sun go down on your anger but make that decision today to forgive them and let us know of your decision and of your newfound freedom.
Forward this to someone who needs it as much as you do so they too can choose to forgive and be free.
“Today and right now I am making my decision to forgive and forget and be forgiven myself and be free:”
Call them and let them know. Share this good news with them. Even if they scowl or laugh or ridicule, just remember how Jesus forgave them when they knew not what they did. They will never forget how you were willing to forgive them. They may embrace your forgiveness with open arms. It may lead them to repentance and restoration and even to their salvation.
And you will be a child after your Father’s heart.
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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