What’s the Solution?
To heal our unforgiving attitude, we must ask, “What is the root of unforgiveness?”
From experience, our inability to forgive others comes from our inability to forgive ourselves. Yes, it can be that simple.
If you don’t receive God’s mercy, you can’t give mercy to others. The Bible says, Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13).
I remember Felipe.
Felipe told me he has a hard time forgiving others.
But as we continued talking, I found out something very glaring about him that he may not have noticed. When he himself does something wrong, he becomes very miserable. He doesn’t allow himself to be happy.
In other words, he punishes himself.
Even if Felipe asks for God’s forgiveness, (and verbally, he’ll tell you he believes that God forgives him), he’ll subconsciously find a way to pay for his sins. By not being happy. By suffering.
He wants to pay for his sins. He demands it upon himself.
Result? When others offend him (and he gets easily offended), he uses the same standards. He wants them to pay up as well.
There are still isolated Catholics who practice flogging. (Other religions practice this too.) These penitents whip themselves as a way of punishing themselves for their sins.
I’ve met Christians who no longer carry a physical whip, but they carry an invisible whip. When they make a mistake, they whip themselves “bloody” in their emotions. They condemn themselves. They walk through life depressed. They accept all suffering as just rewards for their sins—even suffering that’s totally unrelated to their mistakes.
They say they believe God loves them. They even sing about God’s Love. They’ll even tell you that they believe God has forgiven them. But internally, they insist on paying for their sins.
Friend, if there’s one thing I want you to learn today, it is this: Stop trying to pay for your sins!
Rest in His mercy. Let God pay for your sins.
God Desires Mercy, Not Sacrifice
From experience, it’s these people that have an unforgiving attitude.
Because one cannot give what one has not really received.
God says, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. (Matthew 9:13)
But there are people who like sacrifice. They want to keep sacrificing to God for their sins. And worse, they want others to sacrifice for their sins.
But God wants mercy.
I believe the root of all unforgiveness is fear.
Fear that if you don’t let “them” pay for their mistakes, you’ll never get back what you lost.
Not understanding that these people can’t pay anyway.
Here’s the big problem: Only God can pay you.
I was molested as a child. But I’ve long realized that my molesters can’t pay me back. They can’t return to my innocence. They can’t return to me the 20 years of agony.
But God can.
(To continue reading Bo’s inspiring article, click here.)