Unforgiveness binds us to the unforgiven

In the best spirit of plagarism, I wanted to muse a little on something Susan posted recently.

It semes to me that forgiveness is key in a Christians life. Indeed, God Himself says to ‘forgive, and you will be forgiven’ (Luke 6 v37b). Why this big thing on forgiveness? Well, Susan says it very well. The fact of the matter is that failing to forgive kills you. Kills you with anger, bitterness, joylessness, anger and hate.

We’ve all felt anger and injustice – such is natural and good. It shows we are alive, that we are not an island, that we can be hurt by others. Be angry! But – don’t let the sun go down on your anger. For when we gnaw on our anger in the dark, it turns to bitterness and hate. It is possible we can make our targets’ life a misery as a result. The truth is though, we make our own life ten times worse. The end result of unforgiveness – well, it can be seen in the world around us.

Forgiveness is indeed a hard thing for us to do, bound as we often are to the strictures of justice; gracious forgiveness seems scandalously alien.

I think this is what Jesus was saying when he said “those who have been forgiven much, love much; those who have been forgiven little, love little”. I confess I puzzled over that one for a while until I understood that it is not until we understand in our heart just how much we have been forgiven that we have the power to love scandalously, and forgive scandalously.

One could in fact say that forgiveness is the only sane option in an insane world. Look on it as enlightened self-preservation if you like!

Of course, it is easier to say than do, and for certain forgiving is an iterative process, like peeling the skin of an onion. We may have to revisit again and again, as part hurts we thought were dealt with, resurface. Indeed, it is a trap to think “I have forgiven, right that’s it, dealt with, put behind me”, because it gives the accuser fertile territory to accuse you of being a hypocrite and a failure when you find it is not quite as ‘dealt with’ as you first thought.

It’s probably best to understand that forgiveness is sometimes a process, or perhaps better as an attitude, rather than something that can always be done once and dealt with. It’s also best to understand it as a hard, narrow way. It’s difficult to relinquish the claim for justice in forgiveness. It is costly.

It is also the Way of the Cross.

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8 Responses to Unforgiveness binds us to the unforgiven

  1. faithwalk says:

    Hello Peter, and thank you for bringing another facet on the subject of forgiveness. I so relate to the onion layers, in many areas of our life as the Lord deals with us. Yes sometimes it is indeed a process, probably more often than not.

    May we all follow the way of the cross, by the grace of Jesus Christ and His life within us!

    Bless you dear brother, and give Ruthy my greetings!
    ( And thanks for the help with our pc… it is communicating with the monitor again, Yea!)

    Jesus love and grace to you,



  2. Peter says:

    All typos sorted 😉 Glad the PC is too!


  3. faithwalk says:

    Thank you Peter! 🙂

    For the ping too!


  4. mcalmond says:

    Thank you Peter for you part in this theme being further developed for us all. Your title to this post says something very powerful as does all of your post. The reality that our unforgiveness of another enslaves us to them, is oh so very true. I know this isn’t what people desire or intend but it remains the truth just the same. So, our unforgiveness not only cuts us off from the forgiveness of the Lord, we become slaves emotionally and spiritually to those whom we have withheld godly forgiveness. Such a good point and powerful reality that we actually can change and do something about, in Christ Jesus! Keep up the good writing Peter!

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  5. faithwalk says:

    Amen Phil, and Peter!
    I am ever so thankful for the grace in Christ that enables us to forgive, though we do indeed have to make the choice to avail ourselves of that grace.

    If I remember correctly it was you Peter, who left that saying in a comment on one of my first posts.
    Having just been released from and delivered from this spirit; having had the ties completely broken to the person I could not ,in and of myself, forgive, it resounded in my spirit!
    It was a powerful and incredible breakthrough, I have just had another this week, ( entirely different, but equally freeing! )
    Praise our Wonderful, amazing and gracious Redeemer who does all things well!

    Every blessing in Jesus to you both!


  6. Peter says:

    You are both very welcome. Yes it was me Susan, and I am very glad that you were released from those ties!



    PS Breakthrough #2 will now be the topic of a new post?


  7. faithwalk says:

    It just could be …
    we’ll see what The Lord has to say about it!
    let’s just say that I am less likely to be as melancholy as I have been of late 🙂

    Things are much, much clearer though I still know very little all i know is Christ within me the Hope of Glory and it is enough!

    now if only I can start sleeping again…



  8. Peter says:

    Glad to hear it!




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