"If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah), To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions." - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
One of the most subtle tricks of Satan is to take advantage of a situation wherein one has repented of sin which has now been forgiven by God, and yet others who know the individual find it difficult to blot out of their minds personal thoughts of condemnation or resentment.
Simple put, others cannot - or will not - forgive although this one has been forgiven. Satan can cause others to harbor resentments, and suspicions, and hesitate to treat this one as though he or she had never sinned.
When we commit a sin, and sincerely from the heart repent toward God, and have made peace with another who has suffered as the result of sin, God completely blots out the transgression.
He will never remember it again.
This is what everyone should also do. Unfortunately, there are times when others carry a grudge against the one who sinned but has repented, and is not forgiven in the hearts and minds of others. But in the eyes of their Savior, the forgiven one is considered by Jesus Christ as thought the sin never happened.
It has been blotted out forever.
For some reason, this seems to be very difficult in marriage, within families, and church members. This writer is familiar with one family in which the offense of one member was never forgiven.This one lived out life until the day of death, without ever being spoken to, or forgiven by any of the family. No one in the family would even attend the funeral.
One of Satan's most effective devices is to divide and conquer. He seeks to perpetuate bad feelings, conflicts that cause divisions, and the holding grudges. And sometimes for a lifetime.
"So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love]. For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment." - James 2:12-13
Refusal to forgive another is very dangerous indeed.
Holding of grudges is common in society. Even sometimes in church society. But the body of Christ must not hold grudges, refusing to let bygones be bygones. All that we refuse to forgive in someone who has been forgiven, the same measure will be used to measure us. If not today, someday.
As you stand before Jesus Christ on that day, what will you say when He asks if you have forgiven others?
Forgive - that you may be forgiven.
"Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you." - Matthew 7:1-2
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