6 Enemies of Forgiveness

 In Blog, Daniel Cavanaugh

Consider the Cross

You will never understand true forgiveness apart from the cross. True forgiveness of our fellow man is an expression – a testimony – to the power of the Gospel in human form. When we realize the magnitude of the depravity of which we have been forgiven – the weight of our sin – then we will understand that forgiveness is not based upon the worth of a person but rather the love of God that is flowing through us. [Eph.2, Rom. 3:23, Rom. 5] The cross made it possible for our forgiveness and the ability for us to forgive others. Never lose sight of the cross because, in so doing, you will lose sight of what it means to forgive. God gave His only son to be mutilated upon the cross so that we might know forgiveness of every wrong. This must be our motivation, our foundation, and our lifestyle when it comes to the issue of forgiveness. Our perspective must be that we were under God’s wrath and did not deserve forgiveness, yet God in His sovereign goodness forgave us as His chosen people. That is amazing grace!


Now, let’s take a look at…


The Enemies of Forgiveness:

What are the enemies of forgiveness? What hinders the perspective we need to have in order to live with an attitude of forgiveness – to forgive as Christ forgave; to live the Gospel towards those God places in our life? Ephesians offers insight:


“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32


  1. Bitterness: Once you let this smoldering resentment brood into a grudge your attitude will be filled with every poisonous word and destructive response. Your outlook becomes one of resentment to everything no matter how hard or wonderful things may be. 
  2. Wrath: This person is ruled by the passion of the moment and often finds they react in wild rage versus responding with the grace of Christ.  
  3. Anger: This internal smoldering can be subtle as well, but deep in its feeling. It rules the day and moment and will lead to long term resentment and bitterness.
  4. Clamor: This person whines and complains about everything. They can often be found to shout – breeding strife wherever they turn. They often reveal loss of control through public outburst – reflecting the inner struggle they have refused to deal with.
  5. Slander: Those who allow the resentment to brood and smolder will pursue an ongoing defamation of someone’s good name. They resent everyone they encounter and slice and cut with every word.
  6. Malice: Every one of these vices is rooted in a heart filled with malice. If continued, the person is in danger of revealing that they may have never known the true and full reality of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness.  


Pray through these scriptural enemies of forgiveness today and see if you find any hint. They will destroy the testimony of God’s grace in your life. Furthermore, they affect each and everyone of us. No one is exempt. Everyone finds they struggles with one of these some time in their life. Maybe you have lost sight of how much Christ has forgiven you. Maybe you need to step back and bask and reflect in the grace of God upon your life.


Daniel Cavanaugh

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