Unforgiveness What does it really mean to forgive? Does it mean you are no longer “mad” at someone? You no longer fantasize about how you will snub them to show your displeasure? You force yourself to be nice to them? Smile if you are in the same room? Stop complaining about them behind their back and pat yourself for your “good work”? Yet Jesus said, not only if we curse our “brother’ without cause are in danger of hell but: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor] and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Matthew 5:43-45 That is a hard thing to ask. If he asked me to climb mountains, fight sharks or to stand on one foot for an hour a day I could probably manage it and go on my way. But forgive? People? That is a tall order. Find bellow a list of ways we wallow in unforgiveness, please feel free to add to it: Parents You abandoned me, beat me, emotionally abused me, never listened, were a drunk, were a pain, lived vicariously through me ….. School Friends You insulted me, ignored me, ostracized me, bullied me, teased me, got me to do destructive things through peer pressure… Wives/Husbands (Ex or Otherwise) Girl Friends/Boyfriends Significant Others You are not the same person, you bore me, you betrayed me, you lied to me, you drain me, you make me crazy…. We tell ourselves we have the right to withhold love or we are hurting ourselves and enabling the other. We have the right to our anger, does not the Holy Spirit say, “be angry and sin not do not let the sun go down on your wrath”? There is a definite cutoff point, Christ says: “If your brother sins against you go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17 Wouldn’t it be so stupid to go around like some kind a religious hypocrite and “forgive” as a religious exercise? Isn’t it so much easier to, “keep it real”? Yet not to judge others and forgive is almost the first recorded thing Jesus wished us to know. How can we come to deep, complete and appropriate forgiveness? Can it only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit? Is a lack of forgiveness in the life of a believe a sign of carnality?