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The Importance of Forgiveness

by Joanna Pierce on September 14, 2016

The concept of holding grudges hits close to home for everyone. We’ve all struggled with it at one point in time. If you haven’t yet, just wait—your time’s coming. We all struggle with forgiveness. Why? It’s hard.

Most of us have a misconception about grudge-holding. It seems much easier compared to the simple grudge. In reality, we’re taxing ourselves more than we realize. Research shows when we forgive we have healthier relationships, greater psychological well-being, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression, stronger immune systems—and the list goes on!

Today, we need to understand how important forgiveness actually is, and what God has to say about it.

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:18, KJV).

We need to forgive others because Scripture says so! It’s important to realize we’re all human and make mistakes (Romans 3:23). We can’t spend our time focusing on someone’s shortcomings. Instead, focus on what they can do in God’s kingdom.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32, KJV).

We are commanded to forgive others because Jesus Christ forgave us. We’re admonished to be Christ like! If He forgave, then we should forgive others. God doesn’t remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25), and we should seek to do the same. Mankind can’t easily forget, but we can choose not to dwell on someone’s mistakes. We can focus on lifting them up in prayer and on what they’re doing right!

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14, KJV).

We forgive others so we can be forgiven. Make no mistake—God won’t do anything for us we’re unwilling to do for others. Forgiveness from God is conditional. God forgives us if we forgive others.

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 (Mark 11:25, KJV).

Prayer is our main line of communication with God. If we’re harboring any unforgiveness in our lives, God won’t listen to our prayer. It’s important for us to forgive our brothers and sisters first before we come to Him in prayer (Matthew 18:15–18). Once we’ve forgiven, God will hear us freely.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9, KJV).

Forgiving others is only half the battle. The other half is forgiving ourselves. We like to beat ourselves up for making mistakes, but we need to realize there’s nothing too large for God to forgive (Titus 2:14). If He can forgive us, we need to forgive ourselves—we’re not greater than God!

If you didn’t get it yet, forgiveness is a very important aspect to our walk with God. It’s not an easy concept, but the more we do it, the easier it will become!

Today, ask God to allow you to see others the way He sees them—with eyes of grace and forgiveness. We all can have a ministry of forgiveness. Embark on yours today and see what forgiveness can do in your life.