Did you know that unforgiveness can hinder your ability to move forward in life?
Do you feel trapped by the issue of your past?
Do you feel like your relationship with God and your loved ones are hindered?
Have you stopped hearing the voice of God?
Unforgiveness is toxic to the soul. When unforgiveness is allowed to have a place to rule in your heart, it can set a stage to build a stronghold of bitterness. This will lead to resentment, anger, rage, and hatred.
When an ungodly stronghold rules in your life, you find yourself becoming a slave to your thoughts, and the thoughts are controlling you rather than you controlling your thoughts. Since bitterness is nothing more than unfulfilled revenge, you stay angry or vengeful in your attitudes even though you appear healthy on the outside.
How To Release Yourself From Unforgiveness
While unforgiveness is toxic to the soul, forgiveness has the power to heal you. Forgiveness first begins with an acknowledgment that an offense has been committed. Forgiveness is just releasing the power of offense from you. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors “(Matthew: 6:12). You must forgive and discharge your debts.
If you don’t release your debts, then you will be attached to your offender. Retaining an offense than releasing an offense is the first open door. We also open doors when we hang on to expectations that are not fulfilled. When expectations are violated, we are prone to be resentful. Forgiveness will require you to release your expectations. Forgiveness is releasing you to get to what you are destined for.
FOUR KEYS TO CONSIDER:
1. RECOGNIZE: Unforgiveness is a sin.
Recognize it, admit it and confess it to God. 1st John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us all unrighteousness.”
2. REMOVE the stronghold of bitterness and REPLACE it with God’s truth.
John: 20:23: “if you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” You must make a conscious choice to forgive, even the feelings of forgiveness are not there. Release your offender into the hands of Jesus so that she or he will no longer have power over you.
3. REPENT of any false identity you have received from your offenders and REPLACE those with the truth of who you are.
Confess to God your part in taking this false identity. Repent and renounce that mistaken identity and then declare your true identity who you are really in Christ.
Break the ungodly soul ties between you and your offender by speaking out loud: “I break the ungodly ties between myself and the name of the offender. I plead the blood of Jesus and cancel every assignment of the enemy.”
4. REBUILD the area with Godly stronghold of COMPASSION:
You must now build a stronghold of compassion to replace the ungodly one that was just torn down. Do not leave the area vacant. You must rebuild.
(Mat.: 12:43-45) reminds: “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Building a righteous stronghold of compassion will give you the power to sustain forgiveness and stay free. Compassion requires you to feel God’s love for them to see them through His eyes rather than yours.
Let me share a couple of examples, one from the bible and the second from my own experience.
1. JOSEPH WALKING IN FORGIVENESS
The story of Joseph from the Old Testament shows us how forgiveness can lead a person to achieve their destiny. His brothers hated him because of his dreams. Joseph was thrown into a pit, sold to merchants, taken to Egypt as a slave in Potiphar’s house, then falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and convicted of attempted rape and placed in prison.
Then he was forgotten by one of the prisoners (cupbearer) who promised to help him. In spite of all these injustices, Joseph forgave and released each and every one of them of their debts. He had a choice to make- either to hang on the offenses or to let go. But he made the decision to let go of the offenses and fulfill the dream that God gave him.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”-Ephesians: 4:31-32.
2. MARRIAGE COUNSELING CLIENT
I had a woman who came in for marriage counseling and complained that her husband was not caring enough, nor did he help her when she needed him. She said he would be willing to take the time to help others, but not her. Her husband, on the other hand, said she always seemed fine and never asked for help in their fifteen years of marriage.
She stopped communicating without any reason and was very angry and bitter towards him. Through the counseling process, I had gained an understanding that she had expectations of her husband that were never verbalized to him. When her expectations were violated, she started harboring bitterness and resentment towards her husband that led her to become physically ill.
She learned through counseling how to forgive and release all the expectations of others. She also learned how to look at others through the eyes of Jesus by building a godly stronghold of compassion.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Forgiving the offenses of others may seem like a difficult task, but you can accomplish this through the grace of God. 2 Cor: 9:8 says “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
Dr. Rodney Houge, in his book Unforgiveness, said,” it is essential that our hearts be ruled by a stronghold of compassion so that we will see everyone (even our offender) through the eyes of Jesus Christ.”
You will need to strive towards dismantling of a stronghold of bitterness as you build a fortress of compassion in its place.” Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke: 6:27).
Lord, I confess that I have not loved, but have resented certain people and that I have unforgiveness in my heart. I understand that forgiveness is a decision and not based on my emotions. Therefore, I choose to forgive with my free will and release all offenses against all my offenders. Now I forgive and accept myself in the name of Jesus Christ.
If you still struggle in this area, you may need deliverance from strongholds extending your unforgiveness. We can help!