In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells us that genuine forgiveness, from the heart, is required of all who have been forgiven. He said, So My Heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
God has forgiven us such a great debt that any debt owed to us is so insignificant in comparison. No one can possibly offend us to the extent that our sins have offended God. This principle of forgiveness must be applied in both the big things and little things done to us.
When a person is unrepentant or unaware of their sin against us, we must keep our hearts open for reconciliation and keep ourselves free from bitterness.
Luke 17:4 tells us we are obligated to forgive one who repents, and when we don’t, we pay a terrible price for our unforgiveness. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to yousaying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.
Jesus teaches that the forgiveness of God freely given to repentant sinners remains conditional, according to the individual’s willingness to forgive his fellow man. We might forfeit the forgiveness of god by having a bitter and unforgiving heart. Jesus wants us to have an attitude of forgiveness rather than a spirit of revenge.
Many of the problems that we as Christians encounter can sometimes be due to our hard attitude toward those who offend us. Who knows how much blessing is hindered because of unforgiveness? Those who offend us may not deserve forgiveness, but for our sake, it’s best to forgive. We’re the ones most hurt by our unforgiveness.
Mark 11:26 says, if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Can we lose our salvation from unforgiveness? It’s not the “unforgivable sin”, but forgiveness is the mark of one truly forgiven. A habitually unforgiving heart shows a bitterness that may mean that a person’s heart has never really been touched by the love of Jesus. Our salvation may be sure, yet we may be “tortured” by our own unforgiveness towards others.