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HOW NOT TO FORGIVE

You can’t get into Heaven with unforgiveness in your heart. No unrepentant soul ever makes it Home. And since we never know when our time on Earth is up, we need to live every minute of every day with a heart clean of grudges, resentment, and sin.

I was born-again when I made the choice to forgive. It wasn’t a feeling, it was a choice – a conscious decision of the will. I didn’t want to forgive the person I was advised to forgive, but I wanted the reward of making the choice to forgive. And so I forgave that person and I continue to forgive others, based on that initial model.

Mercy is forgiveness, and forgiveness is mercy. In fact, mercy is one of the most renowned and characteristic of God’s personality features. When we forgive, we model God.

But there’s a right way to forgive and a wrong to forgive, and unfortunately the wrong way to forgive is what most people end up doing.

Here is how NOT to forgive:

  1. You tell the person you’ve forgiven that you’ve forgiven him or her.
  2. You tell other people that you’ve forgiven that particular person (you name and shame them).
  3. You tell other people precisely what you forgave that particular person for, providing all the gory details.
  4. You call the offences to mind and mull over them occasionally.
  5. You continue to talk in detail about the offences and your forgiveness, long after you allegedly forgave.
  6. You hold resentment against people.
  7. You hold grudges against people.
  8. You consider this or that offence against you to be “unforgiveable”.
  9. You tell people what others have done to you, whether recently or in the past.
  10. You call to mind and mull over what others have done to you, whether recently or in the past.

This is how you successfully fail at forgiving. This is how you remain with resentment and grudges in your heart, and this is how your soul remains unrepentant and therefore unfit for Heaven.

I don’t care how much you claim to “believe” in Jesus and are washed in the blood of Jesus, you will not get into Heaven with unforgiveness in your heart, as a grudging heart indicates an unrepentant soul, and an unrepentant soul is a soul in sin.

We shouldn’t let even one hour pass without searching our heart for grudges or resentment. They can creep up seemingly out of nowhere, so we always need to be on our guard against them. Unforgiveness is a spiritual poison that taints our relationship with God and Jesus as well as with others in the Kingdom and with the world in general.

The simplest way to keep your heart and soul clean of unforgiveness is to have no expectations of anyone at any time, and therefore to be grateful for whatever comes your way. Most grudges and resentment are the result of unmet expectations, so don’t have any expectations, and you won’t have any reason to be resentful or grudging.

Unforgiveness will keep you out of Heaven.

Don’t let that happen to you.

So how do you forgive?

  1. DON’T tell the person you’ve forgiven that you’ve forgiven him or her. Keep it between you and God.
  2. DON’T tell other people that you’ve forgiven that particular person (DON’T name and shame them). Keep it between you and God.
  3. DON’T tell other people precisely what you forgave that particular person for, and DON’T provide all the gory details.
  4. DON’T call the offences to mind and mull over them occasionally. Cast them behind you as if they don’t exist.
  5. DON’T continue to talk in detail about the offences and your forgiveness, long after you allegedly forgave. Cast them behind you as if they don’t exist.
  6. DON’T hold resentment against people.
  7. DON’T hold grudges against people.
  8. DON’T consider this or that offence against you to be “unforgiveable”. Nothing should be unforgiveable to you.
  9. DON’T tell people what others have done to you, whether recently or in the past.
  10. DON’T call to mind and mull over what others have done to you, whether recently or in the past.

But learn from the offences, the way you learned not to touch a hot stove element after you burned yourself on one. Forgiving doesn’t mean putting yourself back into the situation to be offended again. Learn from the offences. Let the unforgiveness go, but don’t put yourself back into the situation to be burned again.

Forgive like this, and your soul will always be ready for Home.