Unforgiveness is Sin!
There—I said it! I feel better now. Unforgiveness is a sin. It really is. I know I know it doesn’t feel like a sin. It would be easy to say, “Come on. They hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. So it’s my choice whether I forgive or not. I have a right to be upset because they owe me.” All of that may be true, but unforgiveness is still a sin. And it’s a sin that keeps us in torment.Recently a young man asked to meet with me to talk about his relationship with his father. What he described to me, as we chatted, was the very definition of dysfunctional. The wounds were so deep that this young man told me that he refused to use the names “father” or “dad” and asked me to call his father by his first name, Jim. The torment in this young man was obvious.
We discussed several passages from the Bible that show how important forgiveness is to God and how He views our unforgiveness as sin. As we began to walk through the process of forgiving “Jim,” I could sense that there was still a block. He would say, “I choose to forgive Ji…” and not be able to continue.
So I said to him, “You still think you have a choice whether to forgive or not, don’t you? You need to confess your sin of unforgiveness toward Jim.”
What happened next was unforgettable. This young man said, “Lord, I repent of my sin of unforgiveness toward J…my Dad.” And with that he broke and the tears flowed. Without my prompting, he began to forgive his Dad for every single wound he could remember and never used the name “Jim” again. From then on he talked about his “Dad.” It was incredible to watch as the torment was replaced with love and compassion toward his father.
You see, until we recognize that unforgiveness is a sin, we will view it as an option. And as long as we view it as an option, we will feel justified in our unforgiveness. As long as we feel justified in our unforgiveness, we will not repent of it and we will be bound to the torment that goes with it. But, when we confess our unforgiveness as sin, we are set free, just like my young friend.
PRAYER: Father, show me my own sin of unforgiveness, that I might repent of it and be set free.
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses,” Matthew 18:35 KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Bruce Hebel, Pastor of ReGen Fellowship in Tyrone, Georgia, Adjunct Professor at Carver Bible College, and President of ReGenerating Life Ministries. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in ministry for over 35 years.