Forgiveness is a serious matter with God. It is so serious He purchased forgiveness for us with the blood of His Son Jesus. The Bible says God gave Jesus for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil. . When we refuse to forgive we refuse the blood of Jesus. God paid a high price with the death of His Son to purchase our deliverance and forgiveness, and for us to refuse to forgive is to reject Jesus, God calls that wicked.
Forgiveness is so important to God; He tells us to forgive those who hurt us just as we were forgiven our sins and hurts against God. God gives a strong warning, if we do not forgive we will not be forgiven and that is a very serious situation. When we do not forgive we are not only disobeying God but we are refusing the cleansing blood of Jesus. When we refuse Jesus we refuse the payment Jesus made for our sins. We will stand before God in judgement without an advocate and will be judged for our sins. This is why the end for those who will not forgive is eternal torment.
Many people think it does not matter if they forgive. They want to hold on to their hate and bitterness because of their pride they will not forgive. Forgiveness is the test of our true nature. It is not merely a stance that God has taken to cause people to stumble and fall. Forgiveness reveals who we are and who our lord and master. God’s people will act like God and they will look like their Father. God is love and forgives and He created man to be His representative in the earth of His love for all creation. If we do not forgive, no matter what we say, our nature and mannerisms and heart reflect our true make-up and that is the character of the enemy.
Jesus told the religious leaders of His time that they were murderers and liars like their father and He did as He had seen His Father do. Though we may call ourselves religious or saved our actions reveal the truth of who we are. That is why we are commanded to forgive and it is not a light matter it is a matter of heritage and son-ship and shows who is our true father.
In the parable of the unforgiving servant Jesus explains how forgiveness works in the kingdom of heaven. The king forgave his servant a large debt because he had compassion on his servant. This is God our Father forgiving our debt of rebellion and treason against Him and giving His Son Jesus to pay the debt that was owed. Sin costs and the debt will be paid. The decisions we will make is whether we will accept Jesus as our savior and substitute payment or if we will stand before God on our own merit and pay the debt ourselves.
In this parable the servant though he was forgiven a very large debt, he refused to forgive his fellow servant a small debt that was owed him. He had his fellow servant thrown into prison and God called this man a wicked servant. His failure to forgive only revealed his heart; he was of his father the devil and was delivered to the tormentors until he paid all that was due.
Matthew 18:32-35 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” NKJV
Jesus said we must forgive from our hearts not just in word or pretense but with a true heart. We have heard people say I forgive them enough or love them enough to get to heaven this is self-deception. We have seen people go through the motions on the outside to give the appearance of forgiveness but their heart is full of hate. What a lie from hell, we must forgive and show the love that reflects the heart of our heavenly Father and that is total forgiveness.
This is a process we can apply that may allow us to address unresolved hurt, pain and un-forgiveness that just in the process of living life we go through. This is by no means a miracle cure, a quick fix, or a sure thing. It is a process that has helped some people to release old hurts. Some may or may not find it helpful but, it is food for thought.