Forgiveness is not just a one-time act but a way of life, meant to bring us into every blessing in Christ. “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).
According to Jesus, forgiveness is not a matter of picking or choosing whom we would forgive. We cannot say, “You’ve hurt me too much to forgive.” Christ tells us, “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (5:46).
No matter who your grudge is against, if you hold onto it, it will lead to bitterness that poisons every aspect of your life. Unforgiveness brings on spiritual famine, weakness, and a loss of faith that afflicts everyone in your circle.
Forgiveness transforms lives, causing the windows of heaven to open. It fills our cup of spiritual blessing to the brim with abundant peace, joy and rest in the Holy Ghost. Jesus’ teaching on this subject is very specific, and if you want to move in the wonderful realm of blessing, then heed his words.
“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). Make no mistake! God is not making a bargain with us here, saying, “Because you have forgiven others, I will forgive you.” Rather, Jesus is saying, “Full confession of sin requires that you forgive others. True repentance means confessing and forsaking every grudge, crucifying every trace of bitterness toward others.”
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you ... For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:37-38). This goes hand in hand with his Beatitude from the same sermon: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). He wants you to forgive others so that you can move into the blessings and joy of sonship.