What Does Unforgiveness Look Like?
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Are there limits or boundaries in forgiveness? What does unforgiveness look like in the life of the believer? Can a Christian continue in their unforgiving attitude and it not be sin?
Forgiveness is commanded by God and true remission must be imparted without conditions or restrictions. Christ has forgiven all transgressions against us (Psalm 103:12) and will cast every sin into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Hebrews 8:12 says, “I will remember their sins no more” and Isaiah 43:25 declares, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” God’s forgiveness towards us is abundant in love and overlaid with His grace.
What does unforgivenss in the life of a believer look like? The lack of forgiveness does more damage to us than to the offender. And ”Yes,” God does know how difficult forgiving is for us to do. But, when we don't forgive, we can grow sour, bitter and even vengeful. To be sure, our actions demonstrate our faith and the degree to which we understand God’s wonderful grace. Hebrews 12:14-15 warns us to make every effort to live in peace with all men and to let no root of bitterness spring up causing trouble and contaminating many. Unforgiveness in the life of a Christian is against the directive of God and therefore, it is sin.
For reconciliation to take place, it may require some time. Trust is a very precious commodity and the moment you violate that trust, it is extremely difficult to earn it back. For instance, a woman being physically abused by her husband must separate herself from that situation and not return immediately. Yes, she should forgive her husband but not go back home to be reunited until the mistreatment/abuse is resolved. It takes time for trust to be re-established and for help to be administered to those involved.
Lord, thank You for Your undeserved forgiveness given to us.