Mark 11:25-26 says And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive neither will your father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. My subject is please donít hold unforgiveness in your heart, the unforgiving of your brotherís trespasses.
As human beings, there are times in our lives where we will be offended. What is critical is how we handle those offenses. When we were unsaved, we would handle these issues in the flesh. We argued and became combative. In Christ, we must begin to handle those negative responses in the spirit and in love.
It is no secret that one of the worst hurts one could experience is a church hurt. Because of this, many walk away from the house of God. I will not dismiss people feelings because we all have them. I just believe that God would want us to have a forgiving heart on the basis that He has a forgiving heart. Therefore, we should not hold unforgiveness in our heart.
St. Matthew 18:15-16 says if your brother sin against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. Verse 17 reads: If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector.
There are Christians who got excommunicated for irate behavior due to another brotherís offense, so instead of taking the problem to the Pastor or Bishop, they took it to the streets. Obviously we expect the brethren to communicate with a civil tongue but if not, we pray for them and go on in Christ. Personally, I believe that no one walks in the spirit all the time because the bible says there is not a righteous man that sinneth not.
Years ago, a Bishop said to me that himself and a minister was talking about my wife nothing bad was mentioned. My thought to myself was why is this man talking about my wife? No man wants to hear another man talking about his wife. I could have taken his statement in a different way and jumped on him like an animal. I decided to walk away and let it go. Sadly, he got excommunicated for making a big financial mistake.
First John 4:11 says beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. Verse 20 states, if a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
The longer we hold offense in our hearts, the more they will grow and hinder our prayers to the Lord. Amen.