A couple weeks ago, a newspaper in Atlanta, GA solicited responses to a question similar to this…”Why is it so hard to forgive? Why do so many people have unforgiveness in their heart?” I wrote a response which was published. It is below…
Pride is a curious thing. It is both a positive and a negative. When we look at our children or grandchildren, we can smile and have a positive sense of pride. We even take pride in those we have chosen as our closest of friends. But at the same time, pride can and will be one of the most self-damaging tools we could ever use against ourselves.
Matthew 6:15 states, “For if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This is an obvious observation of most Christians. We know we must forgive but how? It’s all about your pride. We do not want to appear as weak, but God calls all to submission. It is in our weakness that He is made strength for us. Those who cannot submit have a pride issue. And we’re not talking in a positive sense.
In the parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35), Jesus warned those who would not “forgive your brother from your heart”. He told his followers that the Father would treat them as prisoners turned over to the jailers to be tortured, until they pay back what is owed. Tortured? Read the NIV translation of this parable and it becomes very clear. Prisoners are locked up and denied any form of freedoms or rights. Because of their guilty actions, they forfeit the ability to possess their rights. I believe God is saying we will be cursed and not blessed until we get rid of our destructive pride and lack of submission.
I’ve heard it said before, “You need to swallow your pride. You’re only hurting yourself!” When it comes to unforgiveness, there is no statement more true.