Joyce Meyer

*Many people ruin their health and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 tells us that if we do not forgive people, we get turned over to the torturers.

If you have a problem in this area or have ever had one, I’m sure you bear witness with what I’m saying. It’s torture to have hateful thoughts toward another person rolling around inside your head.

Helping Yourself and Others

Who are you helping most when you forgive the person who hurt you? Actually, you’re helping yourself more than the other person. I always looked at forgiving people who hurt me as being really hard. I thought it seemed so unfair for them to receive forgiveness when I had gotten hurt. I got pain, and they got freedom without having to pay for the pain they caused. Now I realize that I’m helping myself when I choose to forgive.

I’m also helping the other person by releasing them so God can do what only He can do. If I’m in the way-trying to get revenge or take care of the situation myself instead of trusting and obeying God-He has no obligation to deal with that person. However, God will deal with those who hurt us if we’ll put them in His hands through forgiveness. The act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we’ve sown our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of blessing to us one way or another.

Another way that forgiveness helps me is that it releases God to do His work in me. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person. Mark 11:22-26 clearly teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working. The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. So do yourself a favor-and forgive.

There are still more benefits of forgiveness. Your fellowship with God flows freely when you’re willing to forgive, but it gets blocked by unforgiveness. Forgiveness also keeps Satan from getting an advantage over us (see 2 Corinthians 2:10,11). Ephesians 4:26,27 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity. Remember that the devil must have a foothold before he can get a stronghold. Do not help Satan torture you. Be quick to forgive.

I also think it’s hard to hate one person but love another. It’s hard to treat anybody right when our heart isn’t right. Even people you want to love may be suffering from your bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.

Copyright ©1998-2004 Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the conclusion . . .

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“When everything you do is all about you, then nothing you do will really matter.” ~Ralph Marston

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