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The Dangers of an Unforgiving Heart

“Having an unforgiving heart leads to bitterness, and a heart that is bitter is incapable of love.”         

  • Anonymous

With so much emphasis placed on the benefits of forgiveness and our Heavenly Father’s desire for us to operate from that space, it is easy to overlook the dangers associated with living with an unforgiving heart.  If ever there was a message that must be conveyed to the world it is that forgiveness is as much for the giver as it is for the recipient.  As a matter of fact, given the insidious dangers of an unforgiving heart it is appears that it is actually more beneficial to extend forgiveness than it is to receive it.    


An initial danger of the unforgiving heart is its potent ability to tether its victim to the past.  The unforgiving heart is masterfully adept at impeding forward progression.  It has been said that you can’t effectively operate a vehicle if you are consistently looking in the rearview mirror.  The inference is that you can’t drive forward focused on what is behind you.  The unforgiving heart immobilizes the individual by chaining them to past hurts, experiences, and situations preventing any forward momentum. 

 Another danger of the unforgiving heart is that it always leads its victim to a place of bitterness.  Bitterness is a toxic condition that informs every decision that you make and the actions that you take.  A heart that is bitter is incapable of giving and receiving love because everything is screened through the filter of bitterness. 

Finally, the unforgiving heart is most dangerous in that it blinds its victim to the often unrequited nature of its posture.  In other words the unforgiving heart is irrational because often those from whom we withhold forgiveness aren’t thinking about us and have gone on with their lives a long time ago.  The level of energy and attention given to those whom we fail to forgive often goes unnoticed and is often not reciprocal.  Why spend years dedicated to being angry and hostile toward someone who has moved on with their lives and rarely, if at all, gives the situation that you can’t get past a second thought? Don’t allow an unforgiving heart to trap you.   

The very essence of forgiveness is that it illuminates our hearts to the truth of God’s love and His will for our lives.  Don’t fall into the trap of living life with an unforgiving heart.  Be intentional about operating with a heart that forgives and watch God catapult you into certain victory in every area of your life!     


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