Why is unforgiveness so dangerous?

Question: “Why is unforgiveness so dangerous?  Does unforgiveness separate us from god?”

Bible Answers

We know that sin displeases God and separates us from Him, but what about unforgiveness?  Why does unforgiveness matter?

When we refuse to forgive, we make ourselves a judge of the other person.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12).

God is the judge, Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:1-2).

God does not let those who refuse to forgive into heaven. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:15).  If God does not forgive us our sins, then we are still sinners and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Unforgiveness – Blocks out our expressing love to both God and those around us, it takes our attention from God to hating, it makes us equal to God because we are judging others, we are not trusting God because we have not given it to God, hence, it is a sin because God has told us to forgive.  While others may be the source of the injustice, Satan is the one who keeps scratching at the injury.

Forgiving is not saying that what they did was all right, but it is saying that I am releasing myself from the bondage of being unforgiving and giving it all to God. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him (1 John 3:15).

Do we have to feel forgiving to forgive

No! Forgiveness starts with a decision. It is an act of the will.  We need to forgive the person, tell Satan to go, and give the problem and the other person to God.  Let God judge them and deal with them according to His perfect will.

What does Forgiveness Look Like

How did God, our model, forgive?  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34).  God does not forget, but He chooses not to remember.  Likewise, we forgive the person like God forgave us, we give our hurts and unforgiveness to God, we choose to not remember, we choose to no longer rerun the sin over and over again in our mind (if we catch ourselves rerunning the sin, we rebuke the thought and replace it with blessings or start praising God), and lastly, we do not mention the sin to the person or others.

After we have forgiven, we can symbolically remove our pains by taking them one-by-one from our heart with one hand and placing them in our other hand.  When finished, palm up, we raise our hand to God and give all of our hurts and pains to Him.  If we are having a hard time forgiving, we ask God to help us, and in time, we will be able to ask the Lord to bless them.  We can pray that the Lord will change their attitude.

If we believe we have forgiven but tense up when we hear the person’s name, we have not completely forgiven.

Forgiving is not saying the person did nothing wrong and it does not require reconciliation, but as we forgive and give it to the Lord, our attitude changes.  We no longer want revenge.  We stop wishing them harm, but start to pray that the Lord will help them and bring them to His saving grace.


It is estimated that up to 85% of sickness originates in our mind as the result of unrepented sin and unforgiveness. For Christians, unforgiveness is likely the greatest cause of affliction.  We need to be observant of the signs in our own life, such as anxiety, regret, anger, hatred, unforgiveness and jealousy as they all can affect our immune system and make us vulnerable to sickness. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away (Psalm 31:10).

Unrecognized Unforgiveness in Others

All we can do when others are not able or willing to recognize that they have unforgiveness is to keep praying for them and ask the Lord to open their eyes and give them a revelation that they have unforgiveness and that they need to deal with it.

Being Forgiven

Matthew 5:23-24 says that if anyone has anything against you, even if you believe that you have not done anything wrong, go and be reconciled with your brother.

Forgiveness of Self

It is just as important to forgive yourself as it is to forgive others. If you have asked God to forgive you your sins with a sincere heart, it is done.  God has forgiven you; accept it. If you keep feeling shame, unloved, and condemnation, then you are being attacked by the devil. Remind the devil that you have been forgiven and God does not ever recall the offense.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).  

Ask God to forgive you of your sins, include the sins you recall, the sins you do not remember, and the sin of failing to do those things you should have done but didn’t.

Benefits of forgiveness

What does God tell us

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

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