Off The Hook!

Updated: Dec 10, 2018



MONDAYS WITH KERRI

I hear countless stories from ministry leaders, detailing the manner in which men and women are devouring each other emotionally and spiritually. If we choose to operate in our flesh we will always have an extremely difficult time when the enemy hits us here. With just one lie our enemy masterfully spirals us into jealousy, pride, hatred and unforgiveness towards one another. Essentially, his strategy is to create spiritual cannibalism in the Body of Christ.

In Mark 11:22-25 Jesus said to the disciples:

Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and your command will be obeyed. All that's required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Often, Christians put much of their focus, time, and attention into growing their faith. It is easy to focus on just the first three verses of this passage. We are all well versed in the fact that we are to have faith the size of a mustard seed. We know we are to ask and believe that what we ask for will be given to us. These things are important and powerful. However, we must also heed verse twenty-five. We must forgive first! It is important to recognize that unforgiveness is one of the most socially acceptable sins in the Church today. It is the enemy of faith and it must be addressed Biblically.

We often seek to encourage someone who has been hurt or treated unfairly by saying, “I can’t believe they did that to you. What a jerk!” Instead of challenging each other to forgive, as we have been forgiven, we often “bless” harboring ill will and bitterness when someone is mistreated. We coddle each other in believing we deserve to be upset when we are treated unjustly. In doing so, without even realizing it, we are operating in and condoning a spirit of unforgiveness. This social norm does not add up to God’s law. He is very clear in this passage; we are not to come expecting Him to answer our prayers and grant us forgiveness until we choose to forgive others.

This is one of countless passages designed to guide us to look introspectively at ourselves and our sin, specifically the sin of pride that leads to unforgiveness. As we have seen, pride was the cause of the first fall. The Betrayer fell from Heaven because he wanted to be God. Pride puts us in the same position. In it we operate as though we know, see, and understand all things. Forgiveness requires a reassignment of our way and will, it requires that we walk by faith. When we forgive, we put The One who created us back on the Throne of our hearts and lives. We let the person who hurt us off of our hook because we trust Him to act on our behalf. That is the ultimate act of humility and faith!

It is important for us to prayerfully consider where we are in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. In order to forgive others, we must fully rely on His strength. Often this requires we first forgive any bitterness we have been harboring towards Him.

//Question//

Do you need to forgive God? As odd as it may sound without realizing it, we hold Him in contempt for what He did, didn’t do, might have done, should have done, or could have done for us. Our relationship with Him is fractured when we harbor unforgiveness toward Him. It renders us spiritually paralyzed; we are unable to claim our identity as His Signet Ring–His Beloved.