I Forgive You, But…

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

"Forgiveness Unclogs Your Blessings Pipe"

The more Barbara and I studied, the more we learned that forgiveness is how God deals with mankind. He is not a grudge-holder, but a forgiving father. Since you are his child, you should (and can!) also be a forgiver. It’s for your ultimate benefit. Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die; it’s not hurting the one you’re holding a grudge against, it’s hurting you. 

Unforgiveness is going against God’s principles. If I don’t choose to deal with people in the same manner God does (by forgiving), then I’m disobeying his many admonitions to forgive and I’m outside of his realm, so I can expect the result of that in my life. I can’t go against his nature (by harboring unforgiveness) and expect his blessings to flow. 

In other words, if we harbor unforgiveness, we’re “clogging the blessing pipe.” All of God’s blessings belong to and are always flowing to us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3), and he always loves us (Jer. 31:3). But when we disobey his command to forgive, that clogs the pipe. There is something standing between us and his blessings, and that thing is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness puts us outside of his promises.

One the other hand, when we do choose to forgive, we’re right there in his bailiwick. I know bailiwick is a funny word, but Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a special domain” or “a jurisdiction.” When we choose forgiveness, we’re right there with God in his domain; we’re in his jurisdiction, which means all that he is and all that he’s promised is available to us. You could say he lives in “forgiveness land” where forgiveness is the way of life.

But if we choose to keep unforgiveness, then we’re outside of his jurisdiction, out of the reach of his blessings and protection. I don’t want to be there, do you?   

I’m glad to live in God’s domain and receive his blessings. I’ve discovered that one of the requirements for living there is that I must also forgive, as he does. Ephesians 4:32 says it this way: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.” So I’ve decided (and I hope you do too) that I don’t want to live in “grudge-holding land” because God’s not there! I want to choose forgiveness, and keep my blessing pipe clear.