Posted by: Jo | May 19, 2017

Freeing Ourselves From Unforgiveness

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

(Colossians 3: 13)

Father and SonJust recently I heard such a sad story about a mother and daughter trapped in a cycle of unforgiveness that had enveloped them for years, even evident in the tragic circumstances surrounding approaching death. The daughter is dying of cancer, but even though the mother has at last come to see her, angry words and accusations have erupted between them. Unforgiveness, has surrounded both, like an impenetrable brick wall that they have both built brick by brick, that so sadly could have been torn down with the beautiful power of asking for forgiveness.

This is a far too familiar story between children and parents, but it permeates all walks of life and all types of relationships from siblings/close friends/work associates even invading our church families, bringing division and unhappiness.

We can formulate all sorts of excuses about not forgiving others. We feel if we do, it looks like they won. Perhaps to others we look like weak personalities who let others walk over the top of us, when we are willing to be the first to forgive. We would like to wait so those who have hurt us make the first move. The Psalmists knew where true forgiving begins and we would be wise to follow their example;Forgiveness01

“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” (Psalm19: 12)

The big step in any broken relationship begins with us. In Psalm 19, David begins with himself, asking God to point out where he is at fault and where he might not even be aware of his faults, he asks forgiveness from the Lord first. He then asks God not to let these wilful parts of his being rule over him;

“Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over” (Psalm 19: 13)

An unforgiving spirit can have tragic results on the person who stubbornly hangs on to grievances and the writer of Hebrews warns us all that we will miss out on the grace of God if we allow the root of bitterness, which is often the result of not forgiving other, to grow in our lives.

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12: 15)

Of course, we all know it can be very difficult to forgive those who have badly hurt us and in our own strength sometimes impossible to do, but we have been promised an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will help us to have the courage to bring about peace. The Forgiveness02incredible outcome of being a peacemaker is that we receive a rich blessing from our Heavenly Father and as we forgive, so too we are forgiven and set free from the ugly burden of unforgiveness.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5: 9)


  1. The Lord’s Prayer tells us exactly that. Thank you again Jo for the reminder.


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