“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 6:14-15 (NKJV)
Jesus’ words reinforce the petition in v. 12. Jesus gave a stern warning about forgiveness: If we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Living in relationship with God requires repentance of sin. Because believers must come to God for confession and forgiveness, refusing to forgive others reveals a lack of appreciation for the mercy received from God. All people are on common ground in need of God’s forgiveness. If we don’t forgive others, we are in fact denying and rejecting God’s forgiveness of us. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV),
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
Also in Colossians 3:12-16 (NKJV),
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Is unforgiveness sin? Does it come from an attitude or character trait that has not been put under the blood of Christ? If so, what should one do about it? John wrote in 1 John 1:7-9 (NKJV),
“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Friend, don’t hold it against them. Amen!