God’s word is clear cut when it comes to heart forgiveness. We are to forgive as we are forgiven. It is not a partial obedience option.
Forgiveness is the solid core foundation of all interpersonal relationships. Conflicts, arguments, or demanding of rights are rooted in unresolved issues.
An unforgiving heart is willful disobedience. It is a manifestation of not keeping His commandments. We may not think about it in those terms but it is true.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Amplified says of love, “…Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.”
It is the mental record of wrongs that keeps popping up when we least expect it. That is why Proverbs 4:23 is so relevant. It says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
Intrinsic in the word diligence is conscientious hard work. It requires alertness, and discernment of our heart-thoughts when we are wronged. Walking continually in the freedom of forgiveness requires mindfulness.
We dare not be slack in this. The enemy seeks to destroy and devour relationships. He hates us because we are made in the image of God for relationship. Galatians 5:15 says, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another.” We demonstrate God’s love in us to those who don’t know Him by our love for one another.
Paul’s epistles are full of ‘one another’ verses. That is the power of living in heart-unity, looking out for others. It is the opposite of selfishness. Heart forgiveness is full obedience that is ongoing. The moment we feel slighted, that is the moment to forgive. It frees us. Unforgiveness binds us to the one who hurt us. It creates tension where God calls for peace.
Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Here is one of my heart-governor verses taped on my cupboard door. Titus 3:2 says, “To speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”