And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings (Mark 11:25-26 – Amplified). Forgiving those that commit offences against me releases me from the damage the offence can bring to my future. Unforgiveness affects me, not the person I’m holding the offence against. My relationship with the Lord is directly affected by my willingness to quickly forgive those who do me wrong. My relationship with others is directly affected by how I deal with those who do me wrong. My relationship with my body is affected by my willingness or unwillingness to forgive. Many diseases have their origin in the stress produced by unforgiveness. We are to forgive even as God in Christ forgave us. Nothing another person has done or will do to us can come close to the weight of our personal sin debt that we owe to God. He has forgiven us all of our past sins in Christ. We therefore have the obligation to forgive every single offense committed against us by another person. There are no exceptions. Novels and history books are filled with the resultant harm brought upon individuals and families because of unforgiveness. No person is immune from the devastating effects of unforgiveness in their personal life. Unforgiveness will ruin life, period. I’ll leave you today with God’s word to us concerning forgiveness: Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released (Luke 6:37 – Amplified) And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32- Amplified). Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so must you also [forgive] (Colossians 3:13 – Amplified). A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22 – Amplified). A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30 – Amplified). THEREFORE YOU have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce (Romans 2:1 – Amplified). Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it (Hebrews 12:15 – Amplified). Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time (Hebrews 12:15 – Message).