Charles Stanley (January-22-2021) Daily Devotional: The Landmine of Unforgiveness
Ephesians 4:25-32 - 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
It can be difficult to let go of resentment towards those who have hurt us. But that is exactly what God asks us to do—not only for their good but also for our own. Unforgiveness causes stress and unhappiness that can creep into our relationships with co-workers, friends, and family. But when we choose to forgive, we will find freedom. Here are things to do if you have noticed bitterness in your heart:
• Assume full responsibility for your unforgiving spirit. The other person may be responsible for wrongful actions toward us, but we are nonetheless responsible for the sin of harboring bitterness.
• Confess honestly. It’s appropriate to admit to God when we harbor resentment or wish for someone’s punishment. But since an unforgiving spirit will return unless we can permanently lay down our anger, this is a choice many people must make repeatedly.
• Pray for your wrongdoer. We may not feel like talking to God on behalf of someone who’s hurt us, but doing so is the way to break the hold bitterness has on us.
Even after we have done these things, resentment may still crop up in our hearts. When that happens, we can thank God that we have, in fact, forgiven. We can also refuse Satan’s invitation to rehash the past.