In our personal interactions, a Christian who withholds forgiveness commits a grievous sin.
Jesus Christ commands us to forgive. The Lord gave His life to extend God’s forgiveness to all who believe and receive. How can a person forgiven by God turn and deny others forgiveness?
Doing so reveals deep selfishness. It is to say my wounds supersede all hope of healing and peace. Such selfishness grieves the Holy Spirit and it kindles the wrath of the Father.
An unforgiving spirit denies God the glory of achieving reconciliation and healing.
The one who refuses to forgive denies the power of the Cross, he refuses confession and repentance, undermining faith. The unforgiving basically say there is no grace, no mercy.
Withholding forgiveness promotes resentment, bitterness, anger, alienation, conflict, strife and slander. It slams the door in God’s face and gives the devil free rein.
How can anyone calling himself a Christian blatantly disobey God, injure others, and help the devil? Either that person is no Christian, or, that person is a child of God walking in disobedience.
Such a person is headed for serious discipline, or judgment, for he violates the law of love, preferring discord, division, and hate.
Even if my adversary refuses to repent, refuses to acknowledge his sin against me, I am obligated to forgive and turn it over to the Lord, knowing that full healing and reconciliation still hinges upon my adversary repenting and asking for forgiveness.
What a tragedy it is to deny God complete victory by giving the devil even one square inch of satisfaction, leaving wounded people strewn across the battlefield, moaning.