Why is it that the devil is attacking so much in the area of offenses and unforgiveness? In John 10:10 it says the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give us abundant life.
If the devil wants to kill, what does he want to kill? He wants to kill us, but specifically he wants to steal the work of God, kill the work of God, and destroy the work of God in your life. He wants to get at God through the body of Jesus that is here on this earth. He wants to destroy the ministry of Jesus Christ. His goal is to get you tied up in unforgiveness and in offense so you will be weak and without joy (Nehemiah 8:10).
What do you do? You decide you are going to let the offense go. Who decides if you are going to let it go? Who decides if you are going to forgive? You do! The person who has been offended and hurt has to make the decision.
Paul said he forgets those things which are behind and presses on towards the goal (Philippians 3:12-14). God forgives and forgets, and we must be like God. We have to choose to forget. Forgetting does not mean that you don’t remember. You still remember, but the surge of anger that you normally would feel when you remember isn’t there. You remember it only as an historical event. You don’t remember it with the pain.
When we start seeing people the way God sees people, we are not going to be offended and we are not going to be unforgiving toward things they do and say.
You can choose what you think about. The battle of faith takes place in the mind and the devil is the king of guilt. He’ll try to make you remember your past. Is it your past that keeps you from going forward, or is it your present attitude about your past that keeps you from going forward?
Unforgiveness will affect your sanity. Have you ever been around somebody that won’t let go of unforgiveness? The Bible says to think on certain things, which means you can control what you think. It is deception to say, “I can’t help what I think.”
Unforgiveness will make you open bait for the devil. You’ve got to realize that the devil is trying to pull you into a trap – everyday. The easiest trap he has is offenses and unforgiveness. Once he gets you in there, you are trapped.
You may be trying to go on with your ministry. You may be trying to witness to a person you are working with. I know of a man who has been trying to witness to a co-worker for years. I’ll be honest with you. He will never be a positive witness to him and see him saved. Why is that? Because in his current condition he is offended and has unforgiveness and it just pours out of him. While that unforgiveness is pouring out of him, he’s trying to witness to his co-worker. Witnessing is taking place, only it’s a negative witness instead of a positive one. The co-worker is probably thinking to himself, “If that guy is a Christian, I don’t want what he has. He’s a mess. He’s mental.” The world calls this being a hypocrite.
Second Timothy 2:25-26 talks about how we come to the truth. We hear the truth, we come to our senses, and we escape the snare of the devil. The devil hopes you won’t be smart enough to forgive. The devil wants you to be stupid when it comes to forgiveness. But forgiveness is the key to being set free. Forgiveness is possible in every situation. Forgiveness is a choice. That choice is totally ours.