John Steward of Jesus
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Forgiving Others

It is important to forgive because an unforgiving spirit permits resentment, bitterness, and pride to settle in, which leaves ourselves with the destructive problem and burden, not the one who has repented and asked for forgiveness. It is sinister deception which leads us to think that if we do not forgive we leave the unforgiven one with the burden. If he has repented and asked for forgiveness, his burden has been released, though his muscles will be sore for a while, and there may be scars where his skin was worn off by the rubbing.

Forgiveness also removes the offense as an issue which prevents us from enjoying the fellowship and blessing which may be available with the one who had offended. If someone spits in my face, and I observe him spitting in the faces of others, I may stay out of his spitting range. But if he repents and asks for forgiveness, and I do not forgive in my heart, it will be difficult for me to be comfortable within his spitting range. My heart will bring up the old offense, and lead me out of the range of discomfort.

Only as I forgive and again become comfortable in his spitting range will I be open to the dialog and fellowship which can be restored within that range.