Why we have to forgive…

forgivenessif there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Today I met with a group of ladies and we discussed the many ways Satan lies and seeks to deceive us. It began in the garden with Eve, and continues today in our own lives.

He has many tactics, many schemes, yet his ultimate goal is to get us to quit on God. To get us to doubt Him, to question Him, to believe lies about Him and to lead us to sin.

And if this won’t work, he will get us to turn against one another.

Over and over in Scripture we are told to forgive as Christ has forgiven us.

We are told not to let a root of bitterness take hold in our lives.

Yet, when we hold onto unforgiveness, this is exactly what we do, and we fail to forgive as the Lord has instructed.

I once heard a great illustration concerning unforgiveness. This person said it was like a person walking around with a backpack on. Each time that person failed to forgive, each time that person held a grudge, it was like a large rock was added to their backpack. Eventually, that person is so weighed down, they can’t go on.

How true this is.

As I said in my last post, When People Let You Down…. People will hurt us.

For the only One who won’t let us down is Jesus.

Yet, we hurt ourselves when we fail to forgive.

We fall into Satan’s trap when we hold onto unforgiveness.

Paul understood this, for he makes it clear that he will forgive anyone the Corinthians forgive, so that Satan would not outwit them. Paul said, he was aware of Satan’s schemes.

Friend, we too must be aware of his schemes. We must guard our heart and minds from the lies he whispers into our hearts.

And we must guard against bitterness and unforgiveness.

When we fail to forgive, we hurt ourselves.

When we fail to forgive, Satan wins.

When we fail to forgive, we sin against God.

In the past, I have been hurt many times. One time in particular, I was hurt deeply and for a while, I held onto that grudge, I held onto the pain. I talked about the situation with others, and it consumed by thinking. Then one day, the Lord spoke to my heart. He asked me in His still small voice, “How can you not forgive these who have hurt you, after all I have forgiven you for.”

I was left undone. How could I not forgive.

As soon as I released those who had hurt me, as soon as I let them know I had forgiven them, there was such peace.

I was free.

Friend, the enemy longs to hold us back from experiencing the abundant life, the Lord has for us.

He does this by lying to us and filling our minds with untruths.

He does this by causing roots of bitterness to grow and fester in our heart.

He accomplishes this when we hold onto anger, and don’t forgive.

Let us then be fully aware of His schemes, and refuse to let him outwit us.

For with the Lord, all things are possible, even forgiving those who have hurt us!

 

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