A sincere and honest friend one time said she had received healing for “arthritic” hurts in her hands. She said it happened as a result of her forgiving someone. She gave no details. But the point was that her forgiving had set her free.
I’d like to make a couple more points about forgiveness.
Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” This theme is highly promoted these days on placards, from the pulpit, by counselors, about everywhere. Sounds so good. But I’m thinking we should forgive because Jesus said to do so. Bible says, “…forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32). Did Jesus forgive me to set HIMSELF free? No, he forgave me to set ME free! Smedes quote puts the cart before the horse. The freedom of the forgiver is a result; it should not be the motivation.
And my next point regards those who have had very egregious things for which they have offered forgiveness. I have seen people on TV who give witness to having forgiven in situations that boggle the brain. How to forgive one who murders your daughter? How to forgive a relative who has just cheated you out of your inheritance? How to forgive a Holocaust guard who tortured you (as Corrie Ten Boom did)? The Bible says to forgive as God forgives us. His power/grace/love can make it happen.
There should not be an end to our grace to forgive. When Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven times, he might have been saying to forgive THE SAME INCIDENT 490 times. That is so true. Some things you have to just say “I forgive __ regarding that.” Next time it comes to mind, say the same thing. Next time, the same. Few if any incidents can you willingly forgive 490 and have it still hound you! Personally, I believe the Holy Spirit will help you long before 49 times let alone 490!
I believe I read a blog the other day which said that unforgiveness will keep the victim in bondage to that person who did them wrong. l’m sorry I’ve forgotten who planted that seed in my head/spirit. I think of people who might not even go to a certain place anymore in case they accidentally meet their foe. In that case the wrongdoer is controlling the victim’s actions.
Matthew 6:14 & 15; ‘If you forgive people their trespasses and let them go, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you’ – I have no explanation for all this verse. I know Christian people who seem to have unforgiveness even to their death, still I believe they went to Heaven. So I do not see this as an “unpardonable” sin even unto death, but I do recognize their must be some bitter consequences for unforgiveness. Bitterness of heart, brokenness of spirit, and resulting ill health are almost surely results of unforgiveness.