Many of us have a tendency to hold grudges against people for things we’ve been forgiven for that are of a greater magnitude, in turn imprisoning ourselves. How deep is that?!…
Matthew 18: 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
In the passage above, the servant was physically imprisoned for his unwillingness to forgive another servant for much less than he had been forgiven for. Each time we fail to forgive we become prisoners of our own hearts. We can’t fully be free until we learn to let things go because holding on to past hurts is just like being shackled to the person who hurt us; we can’t move forward because our forgiveness, or lack thereof, is directly linked to our blessings and our future. The inability to forgive keeps us stagnant in our relationship with God and with others because it keeps us tied to the past and constantly on guard. That doesn’t mean that we have to forget or continue to allow people to hurt us; it means we learn from the lesson, look at the part we played in the situation, and move on facing the fact that the person who we are forgiving has long since moved on without a second thought. They will never feel what we feel and no amount of rehashing the past is going to make them. With that said, TRUE forgiveness does not keep score and sometimes that means we have to forgive over and over again and realize that our forgiveness is for self moreso than for the person who we are granting forgiveness to. Being able to forgive keeps us free, helps us connect with God, and opens us up to the many blessings that He has in store for us.