Unforgiveness and Judgment: Tag Team Jailers
Forgiveness and releasing judgment against those who have wronged us are important teachings as we counsel and prepare people for deliverance ministry.
Jesus makes it clear that unforgiveness gives the demonic kingdom a legal right to torment us. In Matthew 18:34, He states that unless we forgive with our whole heart, we will be turned over to the jailers/tormentors to be tortured, until we should pay back all that we owe. Unforgiveness is a private cell of torture, reserved just for one. The person you resent is not in that cell with you. He is free. Forgiveness is an act of our will and when we do that it closes an open door for demonic torment.
Judgment, however, is a cell reserved for two. Judgment by the power of your words condemns and imprisons you both. Luke 6:37 and Roman 2:1 says that when we judge someone, we are opening the door for torment in our own lives also. When we judge others then we are judged and we are condemning ourselves. When we release a judgement against someone, coupled with forgiveness, we release whatever emotional debt they might have owed us.
I remember back in the early days of my walk with the Lord, I became horribly offended by the comments of a co-worker. Fortunately for me, he exacted my forgiveness by asking for it. It forced me to speak it out loud so the torment stopped. A year later, however, that old memory resurfaced and a toxic flow of judging words poured out of my mouth. On the phone I was complaining, "Oh I remember what he said to me, I forgave him, but he is still the same. He treats everyone with disrespect. He is arrogant, obnoxious, demanding... blah, blah, blah". You get the picture. About that time, something came into my eye. It felt like a log.
For weeks I suffered with a torn eyelid until one day, after many doctor visits, I paused to ask the Lord for the cause of this torment. What I heard in my spirit was: Matthew 7:3. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye". Ouch! It was Jesus talking about judgment. I went back to the day the log came into my own eye and I remembered the words I had spoken over my colleague. I was able to ask for forgiveness, repent, and release all judgment. Within a day or two, my eye healed.
Judgment had not only locked me in jail, but by the power of my words it had imprisoned the one I was judging. In early Roman times dead bodies were tied to the back of the prisoners, as a form of punishment and to keep them from escaping, until the toxins slowly leaked into the prisoner and killed him.
Who are you carrying around with you? It's time to drop the debt, drop the judgment, and walk free.