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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

How Satan Corrupts You: Unforgiving



Godversity_satan_unforgiving

Day 7 INTRODUCTION: We started a series of short posts about how the enemy proliferates our fleshly desires and causes our downfall. Identifying each trait and breaking them down into 7 parts to make it easier for you to understand and protect your loved ones from falling prey. Our intent is not to create fear or pass judgement on those with medical conditions but simply to state the truth as presented in the Holy Bible. We are passionate about your welfare, emotional, and physical wellbeing. We welcome your request for prayers, individually or in a group setting. God bless you and me.

UNFORGIVING DEFINITION: A person who is not willing to forgive or excuse people's faults or wrongdoings - not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting.

Unforgiveness is like a bee sting, it hurts much longer than the initial zinger. It swells and festers and, like a bee sting, hurts the unforgiving one the worst. Unforgiveness, ironically, turns the hurt person into the initiator of more hurt.

I've said it once, and I will say it a thousand times: Fool me over once, shame on you. Fool me over twice, shame on me.

So why bother? Why waste your time and energy on people who have proven they're capable of hurting you?

It's a double-edged sword.

The problem with being unforgiving is that you often find yourself watching the sunset alone. At the end of the day, you're the only one standing. Everyone seems to have messed up in one way or another, leaving you to your own devices. No one seems to measure up.

The plight of the unforgiving person is bittersweet. You're constantly let down by humanity, as other people lack the ability to reach the impossibly high bar you've set for those around you.

If people around you mess up, there's little chance of reconciliation. Even if they do manage to win you over, you'll never forget the betrayal. It will loom in the back of your mind like a creeping shadow.

NINE STRUGGLES OF THE UNFORGIVING

While being unforgiving can help you protect yourself and be wary of others, it will also inevitably weigh you down and plague you with a heavy heart.

1. If people messed up, you can't get over it.

When people mess up, they've given you the ultimate insult. For you to forgive someone, it takes a lot more than a simple “I'm sorry.”You need big gestures in order to start forgiving. If someone lets you down, they better expect to try to win you back with every ounce of energy they have.If they can't make that happen, they hardly seem worth your time. The apathy runs hot and thick.

2. You expect too much from the people in your life.

You often end up being let down because your expectations for your friends are too high. You're in a constant agitated state because no one else has their burdens together. If you can do something for a friend, why can't she do the same for you?

3. You've been through hard times that made you this way.

You've been cheated over one too many times to have the patience to deal with people's issues. It's hard to step outside of your own experience because you've been let down so many times.

Your shell is a culmination of bad memories of crappy people doing terrible things.

Life has made you pessimistic, but it has also given you zero tolerance for nonsense. Like every quality, this is a good and bad thing.

4. You love too hard, and you shun too hard.

You're loyal — to a fault — in love. But when someone messes with you, you have no problem cutting ties immediately.

Your friendships and relationships tend to live in extremes: Stay on your good side and be a good friend, or you can get out. There is no in-between room for negotiations.

5. You bring past baggage from relationships into your current ones.

It's hard not to bring your past hurt into current relationships. You enter every new relationship with more than a fair dose of suspicion.

You sabotage new connections before they even have a chance to grow to fruition.

You can't open up because you're too afraid of getting hurt. You have straight-up trust issues because you know that very few people deserve trust.

6. You don't forget things.

You have an amazing memory. While this can serve you in many aspects of your life, having an amplified memory means never forgetting what has happened … which means that you recall every time your friends messed up.

It's hard not to remember these details when you're working on building or repairing a relationship.

It's difficult not to bring them up in a fight. Even if you do forgive, you can still never forget.

7. You don't know how to say that you're sorry.

Accompanying an unforgiving nature is a relentless stubbornness. One of the most difficult things about being unforgiving is that you tend to think you're always right.

It's very hard to own up to being wrong when you're used to demanding the apology from other people. A real friend will stand up to you.

This may offend you at first. But if you're wrong, you'll admit it. After all, how can you be so stingy with forgiveness if you're going to makes mistakes yourself without apology?

You know you're not a perfect friend or lover, but you expect everyone else to be.

8. You expect the worst in people.

You always think that the people around you have bad intentions. This can be very damaging to your relationships, as it's so incredibly hard for you to be vulnerable.

You lose friends easily, and your guarded nature hurts your efforts to make new ones.

9. People tiptoe around you.

People aren't honest with you because they assume you'd never forgive them. It's a Catch-22.

If they do something wrong, they avoid telling you. But if they don't tell you and you find about it somehow, you definitely won't forgive them for lying to you.

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” ― Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Would you forgive others if your life depended on it? It does!

The inability to forgive remains one of the central dilemmas in the human experience. It is also one of the most crucial enterprises in which we must engage ourselves. The reason is closely related to our own need of forgiveness. We are all in the same situation. We have all sinned (violated the laws of God), and are therefore worthy of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

God offers us a way out of this consequence. Christ would assume that penalty in place of us. Our part is to repent and ask for forgiveness (Acts 2:38). In the model prayer, also known as the Lord’s Prayer, the statement is made, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). This gives us a choice.

How important is it that your sins be forgiven? Without forgiveness, we cannot enter into eternal life. Would you forgive others if your life depended on it? It does!

GOD'S VIEW OF FORGIVENESS

God has set the example and offers us release from the ultimate consequence of violating His laws, which is death. In return, He wants us to extend that same benevolence to our neighbor.

Proverbs 19:11 tells us that it is important to pass over the transgressions of the offending person. This verse also holds a blessing for those who accomplish this response. It states that “his glory is to overlook a transgression.” It is an honor to pass over the sins of others, and forgiving is honorable.

Love Your Enemies

We can gain much understanding from the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 5:44.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Do you recognize how opposed to this attitude the spirit of this age is? Various factions, cultures and nationalities are constantly warring against one another. Some of these resentments and conflicts are thousands of years old. The same attitude of revenge and getting back at people occurs in countless ways on an individual or interpersonal level. Would we want God to deal with us in this manner for our offenses?

I realize that there are some horrific experiences that some individuals and cultures have had to endure. These wounds and hurts run deep in the human psyche. How can one forgive years of physical or sexual abuse?

How can a person who experienced the atrocities of the Holocaust, “ethnic cleansing” or the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in brutal wars forgive and not want revenge?

It is a natural human proclivity to want to inflict serious injury on another when we have been hurt or loved ones have been hurt. As in all things, we must look to our Creator God for the answer to these very serious issues regarding revenge and forgiveness.

Why Not Take Revenge?

The clear message from God is that we are not to take revenge. Some might ask, “Why not?” Part of the answer is that we are not able to judge righteously as God can. As humans, we have no way of knowing exactly what consequences will best suit an individual or group of people.

God always looks at the bigger picture. He doesn’t want any of us to die eternally. He does want to correct us as loving fathers or mothers would do for their children. We cannot see into the hearts of the offenders. We may have no real understanding of what motivated their actions. We can’t see into their hearts to know if they have repentant hearts or not.

Their offences will not go unpunished because God says it is His responsibility to avenge wrong deeds. Romans 12:19 affirms this fact:

“ ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Each society has its legal system that deals with violations of its laws. These systems are sometimes corrupt. There are times when the offender may be free of societal consequences or an innocent person may be punished unfairly. This is due to the imperfections in our human judgments.

But God sees all and knows all. He is not manipulated or influenced by our station in this life. Our God is a just God. Even when it appears that the guilty go free, it is only a temporary state. In due time, each individual will be held accountable for his or her offences.

King David had a repentant heart and turned away from lust and adultery, yet he paid a penalty for his sins. God forgave him for his sins and he didn’t have to pay the ultimate penalty, but he still had to pay a penalty. Likewise those who have committed terrible crimes against other humans will pay a price as well.

Real Repentance, Not Worldly Sorrow

Each individual will have to confront the offences he or she has committed and must go through the process of repentance. This requires three basic principles.

The first is the recognition of the sin we have committed, then a deep sense of sorrow for what we have done. This cannot be worldly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is the type of sorrow that one experiences when one has been caught. Godly sorrow is expressed from the standpoint of a deep sense of remorse for the hurt or lack of love that has been expressed toward an individual and toward God.

Once an individual has reached this point in his or her repentance, he or she then chooses to turn from those harmful actions. This takes God’s help. Many of these behaviors that hurt others (along with ourselves) become habits, patterns of dysfunction, obsessions, compulsions and addictions. They are self- and other-destructive, motivated by our carnal nature and highly influenced by the “dark side”—Satan and his cohorts.

Revenge is just another aspect of Satan’s nature. He is always seeking revenge for losing his original station in the spiritual realm due in large measure to his rebellion against the Most High. It is important that we not give in to this attitude and behavior of a revengeful spirit. Taking matters into our own hands in the form of revenge will only bring additional heartache upon us and our loved ones.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use the legal system that is at our disposal to try to bring about justice. But when we use it we should pray that it will work as it should. In cases where justice does not prevail in society’s legal institutions, we can be assured that justice (with mercy) will prevail in God’s system of government.

The Opposite of Revenge

Another aspect of not returning evil for evil that works to our advantage is found in

1 Peter 3:9. It says, “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

We can glean from this passage that a blessing awaits us for being able to restrain ourselves from hurting others when we are hurt. We are to do the opposite of seeking revenge, and that is to do good or return good for evil. This is contrary to the natural human response when faced with hurt, pain and suffering at the hands of other people.

The bottom line to this difficult task is that we can’t do it on our own. We need the help of God to accomplish this important transaction in our lives.

How do we return a blessing for an injury? First, we forgive the ones who have hurt us, and then pray for them. We pray that God’s mercy will be imparted to them. We pray that whatever circumstances in their own lives have led to their need or desire to hurt others would be alleviated. We ask God to heal us of those injuries and for His help so that we will not inflict pain and suffering on others. We then place our faith and trust in God that He will honor our prayer.

The question has sometimes been asked, “Does an individual need to express sorrow or attempt to reconcile with us before we forgive him?” The answer to that question is complex.

If we have offended another person, we need to go to that person and seek to change the nature of that relationship from one of hostility to one of love and outgoing concern for the other. We need to make amends for the injury, emotional or otherwise, that we have inflicted upon that person. Once we have done this, then the gift we bring before God will be acceptable.

Forgiveness Helps Us

It seems apparent that if we do not forgive others, then our own forgiveness is in jeopardy. Listen to what Christ says:

“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).

This would result in greater consequences to ourselves, potentially increasing our own suffering. It is clear that if we do not let go of anger, resentment and bitterness, we cannot be truly happy. Our ability to experience and give love is hampered because these negative emotions contaminate our ability to fully express positive emotions. Forgiveness becomes critical to our own well-being.

The Bible gives us some additional guidelines when it comes to how we are to return a blessing to those who have offended us. Proverbs 24:17 instructs us that we are not to rejoice when our enemy experiences misfortune.

Knowing God's TRUTH and ABIDING by it is the TRUE calling and PURPOSE for all believers. Friends, we offer fellowship to seek, gain, repent and share the WORD of GOD. Would you bow your head and pray with us?

This is the last part of the 7 part series. We hope you enjoyed and gained insights of how the enemy causes us to slip and fall and live a life that is less than desirable. Each area that keeps us down and less than what GOD wants for us. We would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please join us.

God bless you and your family. May you keep on guard and protect your heart and minds from the slick enemy who is always on the prowl to grab an unsuspecting soul. Please share your thoughts and views in the comment box below and share it with your family and friends. You can share your love and save someone from falling into a trap.

Updated post.

 

References and footnotes:

  1. Dr. Roy Fouch is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who has a PhD. in Psychology. He is also Director of Mental Health at the Hamilton, Ohio County Justice Center and has a private practice as a Christian counselor. Roy and his wife, Barb, attend the Cincinnati East, Ohio United Church of God congregation.

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