Jesus made forgiveness an important part of the life of faith. Faith works by love, and forgiveness is an expression and release of that love. We can’t make it through this life without God’s forgiveness for us, but Jesus said in Mark 11:25, 26, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Someone said to me one time in the midst of their conflict, “I’m not going to forgive them, I’m right, and they’re wrong.” They were unwilling to forgive, they wouldn’t yield, or even talk to the person to try to reconcile. I said, “Well imagine you are driving down the road on the right side of a two lane road and a huge 18 wheel tractor trailer truck crosses over in your lane headed toward you. You’re right and he is wrong but what will happen if you don’t yield? A huge wreck and possibly a fatality will occur.” They let go of their offense. Here are eight reasons why you might want to think about yielding, though you may be right, and why it’s in your best interest to learn to forgive:
- It blocks the release of God’s forgiveness in your own life (Mark 11:25, 26.)
- It puts you in a prison of torment (Matthew 5:25, 26; 18:32‑35).
- It gives Satan an advantage over you (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11).
- It opens you up to physical trouble (Proverb 11:17).
- It can cause you in anger to say things that lead to judgment (Matthew 5:22).
- It reduces your spiritual walk to a natural one (1 Corinthians 3:1‑3).
- Its bitter roots can make you mean and mad (Ephesians 4:31).
- It hinders prayer (Psalm 66:18) and giving (1 Corinthians 13:3), or it hinders whatever you offer to God (Matthew 5:24).