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When we forgive others, God forgives us. Galatians 6:7 says, "we reap what we sow." That's God's kingdom system - seed time and harvest. When you sow the seeds of forgiveness, love, and mercy, you reap the same harvest.

Setting your will to forgive another person ushers in the power of God like never before. That's why Jesus said:

Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (Mark 11:22-26).

This passage of Scripture begins with the powerful subject of faith. It advises us to maintain high levels of faith in order to remove obstacles and receive answers to our prayers. However, it concludes with a warning: "watch out for the spirit of unforgiveness!"

What we do for others determines what God does for us. If we forgive others, He forgives us. If we do not forgive others, He cannot forgive us. It's not that He doesn't want to forgive us; it's just that God can't go back on His Word. When you sow a seed, you reap a harvest. Good seed equals good harvest. Bad seed equals bad harvest. When you sow forgiveness, you will reap the same from God. In other words, if we will, He will. If we won't, He won't.

Unforgiveness Stops Faith
The cancer of unforgiveness hinders spiritual growth. In fact, it stops you from operating by or receiving the end of your faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6).

Unforgiveness is the biggest roadblock to the blessings of God. It hinders your faith and, as a result, blocks up every area of your life: prayer, deliverance, prosperity and healing. That means your confessions of faith are useless - nothing more than idle words without forgiveness.

Unforgiveness Hinders Our Prayers
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He included this statement: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12).

Forgiving those who have hurt you determines the difference between success and failure in the things of God. To allow unforgiveness to fester in your heart is a slap in the face to God. Why? Because you're turning your back on the things He desires for you to have - prosperity, long life, peace, health, and wisdom - for the opposite: poverty, sickness, ignorance and death. Spiritual success is not based on the number of good deeds you do annually but on how consistently you obey God.

In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells of a servant who is forgiven a sizeable debt yet refuses to forgive the debt of a man who owes him money. When the servant's master discovers what he has done, the master says: "O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him" (Matt. 18:32-34).

Jesus concludes the story with this sobering statement: "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matt. 18:35). In this parable, Jesus says the servant owed his master 10,000 talents of gold. By today's standards, that's approximately $20 million! So let's make this a little more personal. Let's say you have $20 million in your bank account. However, your cousin finds your checkbook, writes a check to himself for $20 million, cashes it, and leaves you with a zero balance. What would you do? You should do exactly as the man in the parable - forgive the debt and let your cousin go on about his business.

Well, praise the Lord! Your cousin doesn't have to go to jail, because you're not pressing charges. However, as he's walking down the street, he meets his friend and says, "Hey! You owe me $20! What? You don't have my $20?" Then he angrily puts his hands around the man's throat and has him thrown in jail.

Now, word gets back to you about what your cousin's been up to, and it makes you mad! You just forgave him of a $20 million debt, and he throws his friend in jail for $20! So what do you do? You throw him in jail, too, until he can repay you the $20 million!

Jesus Paid Our Debt
The price that Jesus had to pay for our sins is just like that $20 million debt. The things we must forgive others for are petty compared to the price He paid for us. When God commands us to forgive one another, the debts we forgive are no greater than the $20 million in the parable.

However, we often have a hard time forgiving our neighbor for walking by and not speaking to us! And now instead of dwelling on good things as we are told in Galatians 5:22-23, we dwell on the fact that this person did not speak to us. We become insecure, self-conscious, and angry.

Believe it or not, our spiritual circumstances are not caused by what others do. They are the result of our failure to forgive. It's vital that we forgive, apply the blood of Jesus to our wounds and allow God to heal our hurts, instead of making excuses for where we are now.

You're Not Alone
Jesus knows what you've gone through, and He continuously offers you opportunities to be free of the past. His anointing empowers you to forgive so His blessings can manifest themselves in your life.

However, before He gives us His power, we must set our will to forgive those who have hurt us. Instead of saying, "I'll forgive, but I'll never forget," you must choose to say, "I completely forgive so-and-so. I will not hold to the issue. And I pray God's blessing upon his life."

Seventy Times Seven
You may be wondering, "How far do I take this forgiveness thing?" Let's see what the Bible says: "Then came Peter to him, and said, 'Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?' Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until 70 times seven'" (Matt. 18:21, 22).

Jesus said to forgive 70 times seven. That's 490 times. However, that doesn't mean that you limit forgiveness to 490 times a day. Unlimited forgiveness of others means God will forgive you an unlimited number of times. Remember, God does whatever He requires us to do.

You Can Forgive
The process of forgiving may not be easy at first, but it is certainly possible to do. Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).

When you make a quality decision to forgive another person, the anointing power of God comes in to remove the burden and destroy the yoke that wound has placed in your life. In other words, the anointing sets you free.

That's character! It takes a true man or woman God to say in the midst of persecution, "I bless you in the name of Jesus." But the more you pray for those who have hurt you, the better you will feel. Before you know it, God's love, blessings, and power will overtake you completely!

Source: Lord, Teach Me How to Love by Creflo A. Dollar, Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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