Lack of Forgiveness Makes Bitterness
August 13, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #556.
Too rarely do we understand the price when we lack forgiveness. Scripture warns that a life of torment and bitterness awaits the one who won’t forgive.
(Martha) And someone that I love very much really offended me, hurt me very deeply, and I couldn’t seem to get over it. Knowing as much as I do about bitterness and forgiveness, I could not get over this one. And I would pray and pray about it, and I was still so hurt, because it was totally unfair and an injustice. And one day finally the Lord said, “I did it to you.” And then He began to open up why He did it, and it was really for my freedom and benefit. It was to set me free. And that was when I, one of the occasions when He let me know that He was behind even an offense. In that situation it was for my benefit to be set free of that person. But in the end that person was brought around, and there was enormous reconciliation. And there’s just so much, so many rich things to forgive. It’s not simply, “Oh, you’ve wounded me, and I’m going to go on in life and forget you.” It’s not that at all. It has to be a love relationship with God. The ‘yada,’ is that love relationship? It’s an intimate transaction with God to find out what He is after and what He’s doing. And that’s going to be hard to write about. An offense is for an experience of God’s love for you and that person…
(Martha) …and until you come to that point that it is His love and genuine love, you have some work to do with Him. The other thing I want to say though is there is nothing the enemy attacks more than forgiveness, because if he can simply get you bitter and unforgiving about one episode in your life, as I said, then you bear your whole sin before God when you go to heaven. And I don’t know what that means, but it’s true. Because if you don’t forgive from your heart, loose and… What does the Amplified Version says, “Forgive from your heart, let it be, loose it.” Loose the person. And that has to be. We are desperately dependent on forgiving as well as being forgiven. It’s a critical— This is what I want to convey in the book, how critical it is. It’s your life to forgive. But I’m aware too that Satan, if he can get you to be bitter and unforgiving about one offense, he’s got you. It’s a life and death thing, forgiveness is.
(John) Forgiveness is, well, unforgiveness is so toxic and so infectious and so all consuming. It’s not like it remains about one situation and in one arena. It literally starts spilling over into all your life and all your arenas. And then you’ll see it popping up everywhere. The bitter man is not a man that you go, “Oh, I had no idea that you are bitter.” A bitter man is bitter everywhere. It just spills out.
(Martha) Um hmm. It’s true. It defiles the many.
(John) And so, it defiles the many, yes, totally.
(Martha) And I’ve read that 90% of illnesses are from bitterness, because bitterness and anger produces a poison in your body. It literally produces a poison. So, it’s a life and death matter, very, very crucial and central to our walk with the Lord.
(John) It poisons inside and out. It poisons everybody around you. It poisons all your situations. It poisons everything that you do, and it poisons your own body. That’s amazing.
(Martha) But here’s what the enemy will do to you to keep you in unforgiveness. We think, always we think what the enemy is doing is from me. I think it’s me. The enemy will bring up the scenes of the offense over and over, and you’ll say – you’ll get as riled and angry as you were in the beginning. And then he will provoke you to that, and you’ll say, “I haven’t forgiven. Oh, my goodness, I haven’t forgiven.” This is real silly. You know about it, because I’ve told you and others. But I’ve come to the place where if I’ve chosen to forgive, and I know that I’ve made my choice, and I’m still praying to come through the process. I will say, “That is a lie. I have forgiven.” “Ok, Satan, bring it back up again, that one offense, and I’ll pray for 500 people to be saved in China.” (laughs) I’m going to meet a lot of people in China that have been born again. And you know, it works. “Remind me of it. Remind me of it, Satan, and I’ll forgive that person, delighted to forgive one more time, and I will pray for others to be forgiven.” So, I’m then on the offensive and not on the defensive. But it has to become a life work and a lifestyle, and then eventually you walk in forgiveness flowing from… It’s all, we’re all together forgiven. In the scripture I read to you in Matthew 18, the emphasis— The reason I read it from the Amplified, the Classic Amplified, is because it emphasizes humility.
(John) Um hmmm.
(Martha) You become a child by being humbled. “Whoever will humble himself and become like this child, lowly…” So, you have to be very humble to be willing to forgive and to give forgiveness to somebody that’s really, really hurt you. I often say, “Ok, I have ’til sundown to be mad about this,” because really Satan sets up a stronghold. If you don’t forgive quickly, Satan sets up a stronghold. It says, “Lest the devil get a foothold.” And if you— I heard someone say, “It’ll be a long time ’til I forgive you,” to another person. It wasn’t me, but they said, “It’ll be a long time before I forgive you.” And I thought, “Oh, dear, that is really bad.” And sure enough – one of the things I’m going to write about is being turned over to the torturers if you don’t forgive. “Until you pay the last bit of what you owe.” And I’ve watched that person who said, “It’ll be a long time before I forgive you,” go through crisis after crisis, disaster after disaster after disaster. And it is frighteningly real that you choose. If you don’t forgive, you have chosen to be turned over to the torturers, so that hopefully you’ll come to see and forgive. And that is very real. I’ve seen it in a number of people over the years. One woman came to me, she had a huge offense with her husband to forgive and she came to me and she was in torment, couldn’t sleep at night, raging hate and just going through horrendous things, physical health and many other awful things. And I said to her, “You’ve been turned over to the torturers, because you have deliberately said, ‘I will not forgive. I can’t.”‘ And I said, “The grace of God is there for everything you’re given to go through.” And she did forgive. She came out of the situation victorious.
(John) It really gives you a burn. It gives you a need and a burn and a desire and an incentive to move forward. You know, to being turned over to the torturers, you can look at it as punitive, but you can also look at it as a huge incentive to free you.
(Martha) It’s a warning. Jesus gives it in Matthew 18 as a specific warning. You don’t forgive, there will be a price to pay other than losing your forgiveness. God’s judgment is for the purpose of redemption.
(John) Um hmmm.
(Martha) When we won’t do it the right way, we won’t do it the easy way, then we’ll have to do it the hard way. But it’s always God giving a chance, putting the pressure on to help you to see. But it’s very serious. All of it is very serious and very easy.
Lack of Forgiveness Makes Bitterness-Episode #558 – Shulamite Podcast
Too rarely do we understand the price we pay when we lack forgiveness. The result of unforgiveness is bitterness and an enemy stronghold, but there’s more. Scripture warns us all that a life of torment awaits the one who won’t forgive. Will we remember?