WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
TOPIC: WHAT UNFORGIVENESS WILL COST YOU
BY T. O. BANSO
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35 King James Version).
Jesus commanded His followers to forgive those who offend them. Luke 17:3-4 says, “I am warning you! If another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him” (New Living Translation). If the offender asks for forgiveness, it may make forgiveness easier, but it should not be a condition for forgiveness.
If you’re born again, you’re a beneficiary of God’s forgiveness. If God has not forgiven you, there’s no way you would have become a child of God. God sent Jesus to come and die for our sins (1 Peter 3:18). According to Galatians 1:4, “He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live” (New Living Translation).1 Corinthians 15:3 says Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said.
In doing that, he had to shed his blood because, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). In Christ, we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Colossians 1:14). According to Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (New King James Version).
Therefore, if you’re a beneficiary of God’s forgiveness, you’ll be ungrateful to fail to forgive those who wrong you. You’ll be like that servant in Matthew 18:31-35 who was forgiven a huge debt of millions of dollars by the king, but went to arrest a fellow servant who owed him just a few thousand dollars and jailed him until the debt was paid in full.
This was despite the servant’s plea to be patient with him just as the unforgiving servant had pleaded and the king had forgiven him. Whatever offence anyone commits against you is far less than the sins God forgave you.
The Word of God says you should forgive from your heart anyone who wrongs you (Matthew 18:35). Forgive them whether they ask for it or not. That’s not because of the persons but because of yourself. Jesus said there should be no limit to forgiveness. That’s the meaning of Matthew 18:21-22: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’” (New King James Version). Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. Forgive.
If you don’t forgive, unforgiveness will cost you the following:
1. Unforgiveness will deny you of God’s forgiveness and will hinder your prayers. Jesus says in Mark 12:25-26 that unforgiveness will hinder God from forgiving your sins when you’re praying. That also means it can make God not to grant your other requests. Unforgiveness is a sin which will hinder your prayers. Forgive.
2. Unforgiveness opens the door of your life to Satan. Unforgiveness gives Satan a foothold – an advantage or room- to operate in your life. “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11 New King James Version).
In the same way that “anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil” (Ephesians 4:27 New Living Translation), unforgiveness gives a mighty foothold to the devil. Satan exploits unforgiveness to cause problems for the believer. Don’t let him succeed in your life.
3. Unforgiveness will cause you spiritual and physical ill-health. Unforgiveness will ruin your fellowship with God and fellow humans. Unforgiveness has been associated with bodily pain, headache, heart problem, and even a weak immune system.
Unforgiveness can hinder divine healing. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16 New Living Translation). Even some health care providers have added “forgiveness therapy” to the treatment of some health conditions.
Forgiveness has great health benefits, including giving you peace of mind and healing your emotions. You become healthier and your relationships become richer.
4. Unforgiveness will rob you of seeing God fight for you. The implication of forgiveness is that you have refused to fight your battle yourself; you have left justice to God, who alone can give true justice. “…For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18 New King James Version). The LORD says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19 New King James Version).
If you don’t forgive, you have disallowed God from fighting your battle. Fighting your battles will make you miserable, even when you are winning or seem to be winning.
5. Unforgiveness will hinder your progress. Holding on to past offences ties you to the past. Whenever you want to think about tomorrow or the future, you’ll be drawn back by that incident. Is that how you want to continue to live your life? You must let bygones be bygones.
He didn’t hold anything against his brother who sold him into slavery. He told them that they meant evil against him, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. He told them not to be afraid; he would provide for them and their and your little ones (Genesis 50:19-21).
The cost of unforgiveness is huge. Are you ready to pay for it? Proverbs 17:9 says, “You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong” (Contemporary English Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of unforgiveness in my life. I forgive and release everyone who has offended me. Father, help me to restore relationships that my unforgiveness has destroyed. Touch the heart of every unforgiving person today and let them repent and begin to forgive.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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