Getting Closer to God Series Part 9This is the ninth post in a series to help you get closer to God. For links to other posts in this series, scroll down to the bottom.
Unforgiveness can block our relationship with God. Forgiveness is needed in several ways. You must first get forgiveness for your sins through confession (unforgiveness between God and you). I believe this to be an ongoing necessity. It is separate from our eternal “standing” in righteousness from our faith in the shed blood of Christ. So basically this involves repentance and confession with our relationship with God.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV
Between you and God, you may need to also forgive Him. Even though God never does anything that really needs forgiveness it can feel very real to us that He did something to us.
Secondly, unforgiveness between us and others involves us forgiving others.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt. 6:15 KJV
…rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee…first be reconciled to thy brother…Matt 5:23-24 KJV
We may need to heed the instructions of Matthew 18:15-17 if the offense is grievous enough that we cannot readily forgive it or if there is a potential that this other person may go around and hurt a lot of other people.
Thirdly, unforgiveness between us and others can involve reconciling with other people who have “ought” against you. If there is any reality to their “ought” this may also involve restitution (in essence “fixing” or restoring the problem, such as returning stolen or borrowed goods). This may also involve you seeking forgiveness, offering an apology (hopefully where you admit where you were wrong without excuses).
Lastly, you may need to forgive yourself. I know it may sound strange to some people but this last one can be the hardest of all. Lots of people have a tendency to inflict a lot of self harm to themselves with their thought lives. Who are you to not forgive what God has forgiven? This applies to others and to you.
I recommend that you look at this issue of forgiveness periodically. Ask the Holy Spirit who you need to forgive and for what. No need to go “digging” around in your own soul giving the potential for unbalanced introspection. On the other hand, do not ignore this important principle!
Important note: Technically, if you are a born again Christian you already are close to God. The Holy Spirit is living inside of you. How much closer can He get? But there is a place of feeling closer and of getting to know God better. That is what these posts are really all about.
Please share how you applied this principle of forgiveness in your life.
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For earlier posts in this series go to these links:
(c) 2012 Cheryl Cope
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