Consequences of Unforgiveness
Scripture stresses the importance of pardoning those who have offended us. While it may feel natural to pull away from hurtful people, refusing to forgive has consequences far worse than the pain of being wronged.
Unforgiveness . . .
• Harms family interactions. Have you ever tried to maintain a growing relationship with an individual who’s rooted in bitterness? You can’t do it, because that person is fixated on his unhealthy feelings about someone else. Moreover, it’s hard to spend time with anyone consumed by bitterness, because such people simply cease being likable.
• Hinders. Unforgiveness is sin, and unconfessed sin creates “static” in our relationship with God. So we must forgive others before prayer or worship (Matt. 5:23-24).
• Damages one’s personal witness. The highlight of your testimony is salvation, which centers around the truth that the Lord has forgiven all your sins. How can you stress the importance of this if your listener can’t see even a hint of forgiveness in your own life?
• Thwarts spiritual growth. God will not bless sinful actions. And so, if you are living a life mired in unforgiveness, you cannot expect Him to shower you with His blessings. By persisting in disobedience, you disrupt intimate fellowship with the Lord and put yourself in a dangerous, weak position.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today? Don’t let another night pass without granting that forgiveness. There is more at stake here than you may have realized.