Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

Setting Yourself Free From Unforgiveness

“Can we always forgive every hurt, however deep the issues? Does the Bible command we forgive every offense?”

No doubt you’ve heard these questions before. Or perhaps you have posed them yourself or currently hold the view that forgiveness is not always possible.

From personal experience, I know forgiveness can be difficult, as we deal with varying degrees of offenses, some deeper than others.

But as a Christian, you must not approach forgiveness solely from the place of your feelings and personal experiences or prevailing culture, but more importantly biblical truth.

Forgiving because you’re forgiven

So, “must we always forgive regardless of the offense we have experienced?”

Personally, I think that’s the wrong question for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the premise of the question appears to presume it’s not possible to forgive every offense. Secondly, when I’ve been posed this question, it often comes from a mindset that already undermines the power of God to give grace, heal and restore broken hearts.

Forgiveness indicates a readiness to give… even before asked. It’s a conscious decision to give mercy, not a wish for an outcome.

This is why we struggle to naturally forgive; because we are not inherently predisposed to giving without being asked.

Are Christians called to forgive all personal offenses? Yes. And God’s demand, which is for our good and His glory, will not change — Ephesians 4:32, Mark 11:25, Matthew 6:15.

However, our path to forgiveness isn’t always linear. Some take longer than others. Some need more spiritual and emotional counseling than others. That’s why I believe forgiveness is not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit.

But more critically, we cannot speak of forgiving others without considering how much we have been forgiven ourselves.

Our sins qualified us for eternal damnation. But the penalty for the same was borne by Christ on the Cross — which is the greatest expression of forgiveness ever given.

Forgiving others becomes a natural response of the forgiven. Because those who are forgiven much forgive much —  Matthew 18:21-35. 

Setting yourself free from unforgiveness

 

Forgiveness is not always straightforward. But when we surrender the hurt to Christ and remember that we have received His forgiveness too, we find grace to let go.

Don’t be consumed by the cancer of unforgiveness that gradually eats into your heart and soul.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was YOU.”—  Lewis B. Smedes

When you receive grace to forgive others, you free yourself from a virtual prison that has the capacity to hinder you spiritually, physically and emotionally. 

Don’t hinder your progress because of unforgiveness. Don’t shut God out of your life, even if unintentionally, because of unforgiveness.

Who do you need to forgive today? Prayerfully and graciously give it without unnecessary delay.

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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