The Poison of Unforgiveness

It’s been said that I try and rationalize things and try too often to fix things. It’s my nature.

“Why is the baby crying?” “Why is this thing not working?” “Why? Why? Why?”

These are the questions I have been asked a lot over the past two decades as a mom so naturally I have evolved into this being who tries to understand and figure out the problem so as to offer a solution.

“Maybe the baby is crying because she’s hungry or needs changing.” “Maybe it’s not working because you don’t have it plugged in.” “I don’t know why it’s this way; it just is.”

You get the point.

It’s in this mess we are in that I often find myself trying to rationalize people’s behavior. I rack my brain trying to think about why people are acting the way they are, doing the things they are doing, and saying the things they are saying. I so often want to fix things and offer my opinion when I know my opinion isn’t something they want to hear, let alone listen to. It’s forced me to dig deep and spend more time with the Lord.

I have a lot to say, as well as a lot of questions. Some are private conversations I have with the Lord while others are conversations I have with people closest to me as I try and talk things out. The last twelve months have been wildly disorienting in this country. No one knows who to believe anymore, people are quick to fire off a social media post before knowing all the facts but not wanting to appear as though they don’t care, tempers have flared, and years of trust have crumpled into piles in cities across America.

As I sat today reflecting on whatever today might bring, it isn’t one singular incident affecting us like some may think; it is many. Nor will it be one singular incident that fixes things. However, many of our current problems are because we have an unforgiveness problem in this country. We have bottled up anger, resentment and hatred that is not bearing good fruit, and is definitely not the legacy we should be looking to pass down to future generations. But sadly, we are doing just that.

Several years ago, the Holy Spirit led me to write a Bible study about forgiveness and unforgiveness as it related to the fruit of the Spirit. I was at a crossroads in my life where the Holy Spirit was working on clearing out some junk in my life that I didn’t even realize I was carrying or holding on to. Of course, the Spirit knew it and knew it was affecting me, and because the Holy Spirit is always working on us for our good and His glory, He had me address it head on.

As I studied the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22–23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” I also examined the opposite of this fruit (the counterfeit fruit as I refer to it) which is hate, sadness, disorder, impatience, unkindness, evil, disloyalty, abruptness, and rashness. This opposite list looks a whole lot different when it’s written down on paper.

Look at those words—hate, disorder, evil, and disloyalty. Yikes!

These words are ugly and we are seeing them play out in real time every day in the headlines, and it is destroying us.

In the account of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1–11, the teachers of the religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery to the Temple and threw her on the ground in front of Jesus. Her offense was punishable by death. These leaders weren’t necessarily worried about the woman’s affair; they were actually trying to trip up Jesus.

The leaders made a few mistakes. First, they didn’t bring the man who had also been caught in adultery. It was procedure that both be brought before the authorities. Second, Jesus knew the woman wasn’t about to get anything fair thrown at her. The leaders were leading from emotion and had passed the point of rational thinking. They were after Jesus and this woman was a pawn in their scheme. Lastly, Jesus had some harsh words for these hypocritical leaders. Jesus said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone” (John 8:7). All the while, Jesus was stooped down writing in the sand inside the Temple. Sins were to be written in sand and not on stone because sins could be atoned for. These leaders were incapable of forgiving the alleged sin of this woman and wanted her permanently wiped out with a stone while Jesus knelt and wrote her sentence in the sand.

We don’t know exactly what Jesus wrote in the sand. Some speculate that maybe He wrote, “Forgiven.” Some say it was “Grace” or “Mercy.” Maybe it was her name to let her know that Jesus knew her. Whatever it was, Jesus wasn’t willing to condemn her; He was willing to forgive her.

One by one, from the oldest to the youngest, the religious teachers of the law and the Pharisees went away. Why? Because each one of them, like each one of us, has sinned and sins to some degree or another. When all that was left was Jesus, the woman and the crowd, Jesus asked her where her accusers were and did not at least one condemn her (v. 10). Her response, “No, Lord” (verse 11), and Jesus responded, “Then neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Jesus’s response was forgiveness. He modeled it for those who were in the crowd watching. This forgiveness agitated the religious teachers and leaders even further because they didn’t believe that He had the power to forgive anyone’s sins. Jesus’s forgiveness saved that woman’s life, and hopefully, she took His command seriously and stopped doing the sin that could lead to her untimely death. I also hope that she believed in Jesus as her Savior and was forgiven once and for all.

Unforgiveness blocks our ability to extend love and compassion because it is wrapped in the counterfeit fruit. Satan is the author of the counterfeit fruit because he doesn’t want forgiveness to flow freely. Instead, he wants to perpetuate the flowing poison of unforgiveness that is running through the veins of far too many people. We can’t move forward as people, communities, and a nation until we can forgive the past and move toward the future. To bring up old offenses every time a new offense takes place diminishes the ability to heal. Jesus doesn’t bring up our old sin, but He does help us with our current and future sin by giving us access to the Holy Spirit. As people, we should follow His lead.

When those religious teachers and Pharisees slipped away one by one, they went away angry looking for their next opportunity to go after Jesus at all costs. They had not been convicted by their lack of forgiveness but instead allowed unforgiveness to fuel their cause.

There is no amount of justice that will satisfy the unforgiving heart, not even death. We need to pray that a spirit of forgiveness will wash over our land so that the counterfeit fruit of Satan will no longer be driving the narrative. There is no reconciliation without forgiveness.





Abortion Alcohol Ashkenazi Beer Blogger Blog Christian blogger Daniel Loeb Drinking Gay Marriage Holocaust Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Margaret Sanger New Year Paul Singer Private Sin Public Sin Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Spirits Tim Gill Wine #Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 2019 2020 2023 2024 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Against the Grain Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson Alcohol All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Amanda Guyger Amber Gugyer American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Soaking Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashkenazi Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Austin Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Beer Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Botham Jean Brandt Jean Brian barcelona Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Broken People Broken things Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Cancel culture Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon quotes Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christian Radio Christian blogger Christian blog Christian podcast Christianity Christian Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Contentment Content Cool Christianity Coop Coronavirus Corrie ten Boom Country Club Covid-19 Covid19 Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Daniel Loeb Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Don't Give Up Don\'t Give Up Don\\\'t Give Up Don\\\\\\\'t Give Up Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Drag Queen Reading Hour Drag Queen Drinking Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time to Turn Off the Darkness Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Esther Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Evil Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gay Marriage Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes Get Out of the Tree GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God's Not Dead God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie Growth HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Healthy Habits Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Helper Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holocaust Holy Spirit Holy Week Holy Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Is It Our Garden Moment Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus clubs Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Jimmy Valvano quote Jimmy Valvano Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Just Ask Erin Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kingdom Winds Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Legacy Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Margaret Sanger Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America NYC Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Blog New Year New York City NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Word One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Overcome Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Paul Singer Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Persection Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Progressive Christianity Progressive Promised Land Prophetic Word Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Rebuild America Red Cup Refrain Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revealing Darkness Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Say His name Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Soak Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spirits Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Checkup Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Such a Time As This Supreme Court ruling Surrender Swim Upstream Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Tenacity Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Depot Podcast The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Tim Gill Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Upstream Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wine Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worry Creates Pause Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah 'Tis the Season abortion adoption america anger authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children christians conversation crystal buck culture issues culture war culture densensitization depression divorce don't scroll don\'t scroll don\\\'t scroll east everlasting family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgiveness forgive four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks god's approval governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heart condition heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer legalism lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution posture prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness spiritual health spiritual maturity spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus students thanks the Bible the Seed the depot podcast with erin olson the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust truth unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting watch why is it so hard to be a christian today? widow's oil workplace ministry