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The Bible says that if we do not forgive others from our heart, the Lord will not forgive us either (Matthew 6:14). When we forgive someone, we are not saying that what they did was good or right, but by forgiving, we are actually “releasing” that person or circumstance into the hands of God.

Our hearts can easily get contaminated through the events of life and through relationships with people. It’s important to guard our hearts from seeds of bitterness. The scriptures show us that bitterness not only affects our own lives, but also affects those persons around us.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…

— HEBREWS 12:14-15

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

— MARK 11:25-26

The parable found in Matthew 18:21-35 shows the severity of the sin of unforgiveness. It’s the story of a man who had a huge debt and he had no way to repay it. He pled with his master to grant him forgiveness instead of punishment. His master showed him compassion and released him of his debt. However, when someone owed him only a small amount, he would not show compassion and release this person from their debt. The parable explains God’s anger toward this man who had been shown forgiveness but withheld extending that same forgiveness to others. God put the man’s entire debt back into effect (Matthew 18:33-35)!

Unforgiveness is a rotten seed in a person’s body. Sickness can be caused by many things, whether it be the environment or genetics, and sometimes sickness may result from the spiritual root of unforgiveness or bitterness. We are not meant to carry the weight and burdens of the sins of others. Unforgiveness and bitterness can open the door to all types of sicknesses, crippling diseases, and demonic oppression.

When our hearts have been severely damaged and our hurts go deep, offering forgiveness can seem impossible. God offers us His supernatural power to help us release others of their wrongs. Releasing our offenders through prayer not only heals our hearts, but also shuts the door where sickness entered so the prayer of faith can be activated.

Pray and ask the Lord to open your heart to this issue. Is there anyone in your life you need to forgive? Are you bitter in your heart towards another person? Pray and ask God to help you forgive and release them from their sin.

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