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For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Matt. 6:14-15)

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
(Matt. 18:21-22)

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
(Luke 23:34)
Our Lord Jesus had much to say about forgiveness. As they say in some circles today, "He blew their mind!"

Peter, the Lord's disciple, thought if he could forgive someone seven times, he would be making a great impression on the Lord. But Jesus answered in such a way that Peter knew he wasn't even close to understanding the key word forgiveness.

Forgiveness is Significant
Is forgiveness really a momentous and significant word? Is Jesus merely talking about a small spiritual challenge, or is He talking to us about one of the "biggies" in our life?

The Scriptures plainly teach us that unless we are constantly forgiving, there is no forgiveness coming from our Father to cover our own sins.

Even if we can firmly establish that forgiveness is a key spiritual word, how can we connect it with previous messages I've taught regarding the importance of one's security versus insecurity? Who will have the easiest time of forgiving: a secure person or an insecure person?

Who will carry grudges the longest: one who is secure or one who is insecure? Who is quick to forgive, quick to make up, the first to go to another when there is ought to forgive? I believe we can all agree that the secure Christian will have the least difficulty with these important matters.

Insecurity begins at an early age because its symptoms result from both hereditary and environmental causes. Thus, it becomes a fixed part of life and very difficult to face or even acknowledge, much less do away with.

Lugging Around Dead Weight
Because there are so many broken homes, with people carrying heavy grudges and filled with bitterness, it is even more troublesome today than it was before. What causes people to carry this grudge? They carry it because they are unwilling or unable to forgive the offense, or because it has been driven deep into their subconscious mind.

Let me take a moment to talk about the problems that will result if we do not become a forgiving person. Besides the awesome, unthinkable spiritual results, we have the resulting physical sicknesses plaguing the unforgiving.

Medical science teaches that most sicknesses (up to 90 percent) are caused or brought about through psychosomatic emotions (wrong thinking, fears, pressures, hatred). Unforgiveness heads the list of these psychosomatic emotions.

The Effects of an Unforgiving Heart
Here are some illustrations I know about, having been personally involved either with the story or with the healing.
  1. One of our pastors was robbed by another Christian of many thousands of dollars. He didn't realize how hazardous or damaging his unforgiveness was until his hands began to swell with arthritis. Being a young man in his thirties, this was shocking. He went to the Lord with the problem and, as a result, truly forgave the person. In a just a few short hours, his arthritis was gone.

  2. I have known of Christians who have suffered from migraine headaches for over 20 years and, in spite of prayer, there was no healing forthcoming until forgiveness was expressed. Then the headaches vanished.

  3. Another situation of unforgiveness caused continuous prayers for another to go unanswered until forgiveness was extended. Then the answer to prayer was forthcoming.
By my personal knowledge, the following problems have resulted because of an unforgiving heart: years of painful, physical suffering from migraines, arthritis, rheumatism, even surgery; unanswered prayer; marital difficulty and divorce.

I could go on and on. The list would grow if all results could be tabulated.

How do we receive help for the insecurity resulting from such unforgiveness? For our answer, let us look to the most secure Person ever to live on the face of the earth.

Our Eternal Example
Jesus Christ had for His father not an earthly one, but a heavenly One. He did not inherit in His genes a fallen race, plagued by all its resulting weakness. He had to be the most secure Person ever to live among men.

Even by the farthest stretch of your imagination, you can't see Him hating someone, carrying a grudge, gossiping, backbiting, being resentful or even competitive.

He treated all people alike. He played no favorites. He was not defensive, did not defend, was not jealous, did not lash out in anger. He was so secure that He fell asleep during a raging storm at sea.

How could He look down from the cross and say, Father, forgive them? He could because He had the kind of security that looked ahead.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Heb. 12:2)
Looking at the Big Picture
Jesus saw more than hypocritical Pharisees and Roman soldiers with spears. He saw Himself, far ahead, sitting joyfully with His Father in glory.

A secure, forgiving person cannot be looking back, reliving the pains and rejections of the past. He must look ahead, anticipating the joys of being forgiven. This can only happen as forgiveness is extended to others.

Some of the best advice I have ever heard for those who have difficulty forgiving others is to pray for them. Pray that they will be saved, be healed, be blessed. As you pray for them, forgiveness is much easier.

Much of what causes insecurity early in life stems from experiences with others: abuse, rejection, disappointment, frustrations, even ridicule. These past experiences, if not faced, will continue to be daily experiences. Forgiveness is not just a once-in-a-while thing; it must be a way of life.

It is a lifestyle that will be a happy, secure one.
A Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You for help because You were so forgiving when You experienced the abuse of men. Please help me to extend toward others that same spirit of forgiveness.

You commanded me to forgive. You would not have commanded me to do this if You had not made me secure enough to do so. I believe I have that security. Now, in Your name and in Your power, I forgive everyone their trespasses against me. I know I have Your forgiveness because I have forgiven. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Source: Healing Your Insecurities by Dr. Roy H. Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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