"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings"
Yes, there are advantages to forgiveness!
Mark 11:22-26 clearly teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working, so we can conclude in contrast that forgiveness enables our faith to work. The Father can't forgive our sins if we don't forgive other people (Matt. 6:14-15).
But! That is so difficult sometimes! We live in a world where warm and fuzzy feelings are the norm, and when someone challenges that we want to turn out and turn off.
There are still more benefits of forgiveness. For one, I'm happier, and I feel much better physically when I'm not filled with unforgiveness. We can be healthier when we quickly forgive. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that result from bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.
Our fellowship with God flows freely when we're willing to forgive, but forgiveness serves as a major block to communion with God. I also believe it is difficult to love people while harboring anger. When we have bitterness in our hearts, it seeps out in all of our attitudes and relationships.
It is good to remember that even people we want to love may suffer when we hold bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. My mother was abused as a child. She never forgave her father. She kept this anger with her most of her life and found difficulty accepting flaws in others. In fact, she would often "wash her hands of them" when they hurt her. She couldn't accept the need to forgive and found it extremely difficult to say "I'm sorry" when she'd done something to hurt a family member. We lived like this for so many years and just "accepted" her nature. As she aged, tolerance grew. She wasn't so quick to anger and began accepting everyone's differences. I doubt she will forgive her father, but progress has taken many years to earn her the badge of compromise. Unfortunately, this was always accompanied with "I've had such a terrible life." That terrible life as a child followed her into senior living.
God promises to pay us back for our trouble if we turn the situation over to him. If we don't, then we allow Satan to perpetuate our pain and take it from relationship to relationship. Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity. Remember that the devil must have the foothold before he can get a stronghold. do not help Satan torture you any longer. Be quick to forgive when you are offended.
This Week's Meditation:
Teach me to "forgive other as soon as they offend me."
Help me to meditate each day: "Lord, let forgiveness flow through me."
Teach me to be patient and know you will mentor me. Remind me that prayer motivates me.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always.