All too often we forget the older brother of Jesus’ parable, the prodigal son, in Luke 15, possibly to our detriment. Through that older brother’s response of contempt, Jesus would remind us that unforgiveness corrupts your capacity for love.
Without a doubt, it can be difficult to forgive when we feel that we have been offended, abused, ignored, or simply forgotten about. However, we must realize that love cannot thrive in the climate of self concern and wounded ego.
When we focus on the offense to ourselves, we are prone to develop an overinflated view of self. This view tends to cause us to stress our self righteousness; it influences us to rely on our good works, on what we have done to become pleasing in the sight of the Father.
There are those persons who feel they have worked for their favor and rightful place with God; and they despise or have an unforgiving attitude toward others whom they think have been profligate and underserving of favor. Unfortunately, such people do not understand they have distanced themselves from the love of God and corrupted their capacity for love.
Jesus in Luke 17:6, provides a remedy for the unforgivrness in our hearts. He declares, “If have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this sycamine tree , be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you”.
Yes, the roots of unforgiveness, as the sycamine tree, grow deep and are difficult to dislodge. Nevertheless, Mark 11:23, assures us, when we believe what we say, we will have whatever we say.
Speak, then, the word of forgiveness into your life and into the life of all who may have offended you. In so doing, you come out of that far country, and enter into the joy of your Father’s love. Now you can celebrate, for no unforgiveness can corrupt your relationship of love for your Father, nor for your sisters and brothers.
L. Jerome Jones