I told you I would give you five reasons why you can’t afford not to forgive. They were as follows:
You can’t afford not to forgive because:
- If you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven.
- If you don’t forgive, bitterness will grow in your heart and ruin you.
- If you don’t forgive, you’ll miss the glory and grace promised when you forgive.
- If you don’t forgive, you’ll stay in the miserable prison of unforgiveness and miss the freedom Jesus promises us.
Here’s reason number five—and I think it’s the most important one: When you don’t forgive, you are grieving the Holy Spirit who dwells within every true believer, and his power in your life will be greatly diminished.
You will miss doing some of the good works God put you here to do. You will miss the blessing that comes through obedience. You will miss the pure joy that comes when your fellowship with God is close and sweet. You will miss the strength that comes through the joy of the Lord, because when you’re harboring unforgiveness, you’re not very joyful—and the joy of the Lord is your strength.
When you are willing to forgive, you can know God’s power in your life. When you harbor an unforgiving attitude, you make it impossible for God to use you. You become an unclean and unfit vessel that simply must be set aside. Perhaps the spiritual dryness you’ve been experiencing is because you’ve refused to forgive. Maybe the reason God seems so far away from you is due to your unwillingness to get rid of that unforgiving spirit. God can’t use you when you refuse to forgive.
I hope you see the truth that you can’t afford not to forgive, and you will move into the freedom that comes through forgiveness. If you’re struggling with forgiveness, I highly recommend R. T. Kendall’s book, Total Forgiveness. It will give you an even greater understanding of all the good benefits in store for you when you choose to forgive.