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Is Forgiveness Really That Important?

The Bible is very clear about forgiveness…JUST GIVE IT!  With God there are no gray areas surrounding the importance of forgiveness.   John 3:16 tells us that forgiveness is so important to God  that He sent His only son, Jesus, to be the forgiver of our sins.  Jesus died an excruciatingly painful death on a wooden cross because God wanted an open door of fellowship with us and our sin prevented it.  Matthew 6:12, 14-15 explains what Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “…forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…”.  The key words in that phrase are “as we forgive”.

“But you don’t know what that person did to me,” you might say.  God knows.  He knows both sides and the inside as well, in other words, the real motives behind the issues.  He is most concerned with the hearts of all involved.  Matthew 18:21-22 points out that Jesus doesn’t care how many times you have to forgive.  It might take 490 times or 70 x 7.   Mark 11:25 stresses that it doesn’t even matter who it is.  God knows the enemy of our souls, Satan, and the devices that the evil one uses to defeat us and turn our hearts away from Him.  Unforgiveness is sin and sin separates us from God.

A few years ago I wrote a song that puts the importance of forgiveness in a clearer perspective.  Here, it is formatted to flow smoothly as a poem.

Lord, You said forgive.  It is the only way to live.

Even if it be seventy times seven, when we forgive we’ll be forgiven.

The hardness I feel against my neighbor causes strife and turmoil in my soul;

But when I obey and forgive from my heart,

You restore my peace and make me whole.

Oh, the sweet release that can be felt makes it worth my humble surrender

of the wrongs I’ve received and the hurts that I’ve been dealt

As I put down my pride and walk Your way.

A cleansing, a knowing, a showing, most willing are You to provide

So that I walk with a pure heart, a clean, forgiven, new start

Proving once again your love supplies.

Lord, You said, “Forgive.” It’s the only way to live.

Even if it be seventy times seven, when we forgive we’ll be forgiven.


Forgiveness is a serious matter, my friend.  Take stock of your relationships today.  What ones do you need to check for an underling root of unforgiveness?   Be honest with yourself.  Is your heart light and free from the burden of unforgiveness?  God’s way is always best because He has our good in mind.   It is a life and death matter.  Yes, it really is that important.

About Stephanie Hanouw

I just love walking outdoors - day or night. I identify most with the creative side of God and am energized by His artistry all around this world. He amazes me every time I turn around! Yeah, God and thank you, Jesus.

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  1. Very good points you made. There is no peace within if we don’t follow the Lord’s command in this area. We only keep hurting ourselves when we stew over a matter instead of trusting The Lord to right the wrongs in His time. When we follow His instruction we can clear our minds and focus on what the true purpose for living is about.
    The devil would keep us bogged done with all the wrong thoughts and attitudes instead of experiencing inner peace from God so we can move forward in a more rewarding life worth having. Just as we find forgiveness with God through Jesus, the One whom we all sin against ultimately, we too must practice His way of dealing with this issue. He knows what works and He instructs us in His word in this matter so we can be victorious. 🙂

  2. I don’t think people realize just how critical this command is. We tend to think of giving forgiveness as something we do FOR someone. Forgiveness is a direct instruction our Lord has given for OUR benefit. And it isn’t based on whether or not forgiveness is ‘deserved.’
    Unforgiveness is a weapon that satan can use against us and it is one of his more effective ones. He is delighted when he can add to the list of destruction when we choose to hold on to the pain, rejection, and anger that someone has caused us.
    In choosing NOT to forgive we CHOOSE to hand satan a bigger victory. We CHOOSE to give up our power to defeat him. We are CHOOSING disobedience.
    Sometimes the pain can be so deep it is difficult and takes more time to forgive. God understands that pain and He will help you through it. We are able to forgive as we allow him to enable us to forgive.
    He will never tell us, however, that it is alright to HOLD ON to unforgiveness – that we have that ‘right’. He loves us too much. Forgiveness is so essential.

    Thanks for this message. The importance of it is under emphasized.

    • Thank you, Melinda, you are right…under emphasized! I remember one tough time of needing to forgive. I said “I forgive”, but in my heart I could tell it didn’t happen. I kept at it until I got to the point that when I said, ” I forgive so and so for ________” that I felt the freedom it brings. Those type of remembering times keeps us aware of just how much God can move when we are really sincere. That is where the song originated.

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