Daily Reflections

Unforgiveness Is Futile

January 12, 2021 Erin Davis

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32

Take every bitter thought you’ve ever held, and try to shape it into something useful. Go on. I’ll wait.

We withhold forgiveness thinking that doing so will give us relational power. And yet our power over others remains limited. At the end of the day, our unforgiveness gains us nothing at all. Our lives reveal our bitterness to be futile—unproductive.

Paul offers us a better way to respond in Ephesians 4:32. When the futility of unforgiveness isn’t enough to motivate us to forgive the “one anothers” who hurt us, surely the gospel is. What a fruitful harvest Christ’s forgiveness has produced! His kindness and grace has wooed us toward repentance (Rom. 2:4) and transformed our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (Ezek. 11:19).

God won’t bless your unforgiveness, but He can certainly use your choice to forgive. Every time you love the “one anothers” in your life this way, He is shaping you into a better image of Himself, a fruitful work indeed.

Make it Personal

Ask God to help you adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward unforgiveness.