by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday March 15, 2005
Forgiving One Another
Even among Christians, an unforgiving spirit is the primary cause of numerous health problems, unanswered prayers, and feelings of stress. It is also the reason for a lack of peace, joy, and good relationships. It affects every facet of life by corroding the spirit.
People who harbor unforgiveness will often tell us that they have confessed and everything is okay. But we can confess and still cling to that unpardoning spirit. Until we emotionally release the other person from the wrong they did, unforgiveness will linger.
God is grieved to see His children holding someone in emotional debt, because He knows that an unforgiving spirit is a prison. Bitterness paralyzes us: it sprouts distrust, resentment, and insecurity. Emotionally disabled, we will build a wall against further pain, closing out family and friends.
God's goal for us is freedom from bitterness and reconciliation with our offender. To recover from an unforgiving spirit is to exchange a root of bitterness for the tenderhearted, loving acceptance of other people. This can seem quite difficult, but we have a calling from God to forgive. As believers, we have forgiveness in our nature because our nature is that of Jesus. (Galatians 2:20)
The healing process of forgiveness begins with repentance. Assume responsibility for your unforgiving spirit, and have a change of mind toward the other person. Then, release your hold over the debt you feel the wrongdoer owes. The next step is to recognize the other person's violation has exposed an area of weakness in yourself - your resentment and desire for vengeance. Finally, continuously remember how often God forgives you.
Be sure to tell your teen about Teen Connection - the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. This cutting-edge web site is filled with practical content, including articles, interviews, a study guide, and devotionals, for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for March is best-selling band Caedmon's Call. Check out Teen Connection today!
Are you looking to take the next step in your spiritual walk? Enroll today in the Charles Stanley Institute for Christian Living - a free, virtual one-on-one mentoring program with Dr. Charles Stanley. Register online today at www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.