Q. I’ve been having thoughts of past hurts in my life caused by others. I have handed it over to God and have forgave them and have prayed for them as well. But at times when things get tough for me I resort back to the past hurts. I don’t want to blame others and I believe I’ve gained knowledge and strength over it. But since I think of it when things start going wrong or I feel overwhelmed, it makes things worse for me. So is it unforgiveness I’m holding on to or the devil taunting me to make me hurt worse? I’ve tried everything. Is it a sin if I can’t control it?
A. I think it’s both. The devil couldn’t use your past hurts against you if you had truly forgiven those who hurt you. You have to keep choosing to forgive them regardless of your feelings. James 4:7-8 tell us to resist the devil and he will flee from us, and to draw near to God and he will draw near to us. You can do both by choosing to forgive others and asking God to forgive you.
2 Cor. 10:3-5 is also a good passage to apply. Take these thoughts of unforgiveness captive and make them obedient to what Jesus says about forgiveness.
As soon as the past has no more power over you the devil will stop using it to afflict you.
Failure to forgive others from the heart is a sin that can drive a wedge between you and the Lord. It can’t put your salvation in doubt but it can keep you from enjoying the kind of relationship you want with Him.