If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.—Psalm 66:18
A Christian woman begged God to deliver her from an unforgiving spirit, yet deep down in her heart, she held onto it because of the way in which it served her unconscious purposes.
I want to suggest that you read the next sentence carefully, for in it lies the secret of the failure of many Christians to walk with “hinds’ feet” to the high places which God has prepared for them.
If you harbor resentment or hatred toward just one individual in the world, by that much you are separated from God Himself.
By just that much do your rear feet fail to track with your front feet and, in the pursuit of God, you are in danger of slipping over the edge to spiritual failure. Let me put it even more clearly—if anyone has sinned against you and you have not forgiven them from the depths of your heart, then your attitude of unwillingness is a sin against God.
Listen to what the Apostle John says about this: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen” (1Jn 4:20).
The very first thing we must do if we are to climb higher with God is make sure there is no bitterness or resentment lingering in our hearts. If you have not done so before, turn now in thought to all those who have trespassed against you, and forgive them—fully and completely.
God, once again I plead for the insight and courage to see myself truly, for I may be cloaking my resentments with garments of piety. I would harbor no dangerous Trojan horses within me. Help me to be free of all resentment. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
1Jn 4; 3:14-24; Jn 15:12
What was Christ’s commandment?
Try memorizing 1 John 3:16 today.