What If I Don’t Forgive?·

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R. T. Kendall

 Unforgiveness says three things to God (hint: none of them good).

is no fan of an unforgiving spirit—at all. Jesus was clear about it:
“If you do not forgive men their trespasses, your Father will not
forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:15, NKJV). Why does He so hate an
unwillingness to forgive?·

·1. It shows an indifference to the greatest thing God did.

“greatest thing” was God sending His Son to die on the cross for our
sins. To be forgiven is the most wonderful thing in the world. But in
order to forgive us, God paid a severe price.·

predict that when we get to heaven we will be able to see, little by
little, what it meant for God to send His Son to die on a cross. We now
see only the tip of the iceberg. We see waves of glory, and these
overcome us, but we’ve seen little.·

God did for us what we did not deserve. He therefore wants us to pass this on to others who don’t deserve it.

2. We interrupt God’s purpose in the world: reconciliation.

God loves reconciliation. He has given the ministry of reconciliation to us, and He wants it to continue.·

we are forgiven, He wants us to pass it on. When we interrupt that, He
doesn’t like it at all. He sent His Son to die on a cross, effectually
calling us by His grace and giving us total forgiveness. But we
interrupt that flow by not passing it on.


·3. God hates ingratitude.·

knows the sins for which He has forgiven us, and He loves a grateful
response. Matthew 18 relates the story of a servant who owed a great
debt. He fell on his knees before his creditor, his master, and said,
“Have patience with me, and I will pay you all” (v. 26). The master took
pity on him, canceling the debt and letting him go. The master knew the
things for which he had forgiven his servant.·

then that same servant went out and found one of his own servants who
owed him a much smaller amount. He grabbed the man and began to choke
him, saying, “Pay me what you owe!” (v. 28).·

fellow servant did exactly what he himself had done; he fell on his
knees and said, “Please forgive me. I will pay you back.”·

the one who had been forgiven a much greater debt refused to extend
forgiveness, and he threw his servant into prison. To think there could
be such ingratitude!·

Word eventually reached the original master, and the unforgiving servant was also thrown into debtor’s prison.·

then added, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you,
from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matt.

knows what we have done. He knows the sins for which He has forgiven
us, the things that no one else will ever hear about. If we turn around
and say, “I can’t forgive that person for what he has done,” God doesn’t
like that at all. He hates ingratitude.

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