Symptoms of Unforgiveness


Revised June 16, 2010

From the Desk of: Pastor Lawrence A. Fox


The Importance and Necessity of Forgiveness - AND SOME SYMPTOMS OF UNFORGIVENESS

Forgiveness and Unforgiveness:

We have learned the importance and the necessity of forgiveness. Resentments that are held onto and nurtured become lodged in the heart because of an unforgiveness. Once trapped in the heart, it requires a work of God's grace to remove the offence, hurt and bitterness that result. We cannot accomplish this work of grace ourselves. However, once we know the importance and the necessity of forgiveness we may become more willing to immediately forgive when offended and more active in cleansing ourselves of all defilement from past hurts which may be lodged deeply inside. Truly receiving the forgiveness of God in Christ should make us more willing to become a seeker of peace and reconciliation according to the Scriptures. (Prov. 25:22; Rom 12:20)

We will present here some of the signs and symptoms of unforgiveness and obstacles to truly accomplishing forgiveness. We must let God be the judge and jury of the offending person and therefore we can be free from the burden of holding resentment and bitterness and requiring judgment and justice. We cannot expect to live in the grace and mercy of God for ourselves and yet demand judgment and justice for someone else.

We have found that unforgiveness is one of the major blocks to receiving deliverance and healing of our spirit, soul and physical body. Please review this listing prayerfully. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you personally where you may find symptoms of unforgiveness. It is important to note that any of these issues can result from a number of causes, yet if we find that we manifest multiple symptoms then we need to take a closer look and ask God to reveal to us the unforgiveness issue that we may be harboring.


Once you accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and recognize unforgiveness in any area, we encourage you to earnestly repent for the sin of unforgiveness and allow God to give you the grace empowering you to forgive those that have injured you.


When God forgives you, He gives you a gift that you do not deserve.  Therefore, you are also able to give the ones that injured you a gift that they do not deserve.



 Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.


Matthew 6:12-15 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  


Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.


Luke 23:33-34 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


Stay tuned for more lessons on Forgiveness and Unforgiveness:

¨  Dangers of Unforgiveness

¨  Key Facts about Forgiveness

¨  By God’s Grace – I choose to Forgive

¨  Forgiveness Prayer

¨  How to handle Offences in the Biblical Way




These are some ways by which you may know that you are offended or that someone is offended at you and that you are still in unforgiveness and bitterness.

¨  When you think of that person, does your heart leap up with love and joy for him?

¨  Do you desire to have fellowship with them or do you try to avoid them?

¨  Do you have no blame or condemnation of them or for them?

¨  Do you say or feel in your heart: “I forgive them, but I don’t have to like them”?

¨  Do you still make up speeches of what you are going to say to them, or what you should have said to them?

¨  Do you still think that they should hurt or should pay for what they have done to you?

¨  Do you still think of ways to get even with them?

¨  Do you sometimes think hard thoughts and have to repent, only to think those hard thoughts again and have to repent, over and over?

¨  Do you have strong emotional reactions when you think of or see the person who hurt you?

¨  Can you sincerely pray for this person and bless them, sincerely desiring to see them blessed?

¨  Can you, and do you honestly rejoice when good things happen for the person who wounded you?


Symptoms of unforgiveness involve unresolved anger and resentment targeted towards a person because of an offense. Here are more symptoms of unforgiveness:


1.     Do you continue to feel the need to be Separated from the person?:

¨  You do not want to talk to the person or have them in your presence.

¨  If you are in their presence, you keep your distance from them.

¨  You do not make normal eye-contact during conversation.

¨  Anger, hurt, bitterness, and resentment is rising up inside you and growing, thereby defiling others.

¨  You give them the silent treatment when you are in their presence.

¨  You are offended and begin to build up “spiritual” bars to shut them out.

¨  You hide from the person and pretend not to be available when they need help.

¨  You do not admit when you are wrong (This is the spirit of pride – a deadly sin).

¨  You do not do what you should do in normal circumstance. You may be satisfied to get someone else to perform your service.


2.     Do you continue to make Accusations against the person?:

¨  You complain to others about the person and desire for others to join in agreement with your complaint.

¨  You tell blatant lies on the person who hurt you.

¨  You tell the story or a story with exaggeration and half-truths to draw people on your side.

¨  You blame the person for the hurt and pain that you have. – You fail to take responsibility for your own emotions.

¨  You speak to the person or about them in hints.

¨  You rail against the person. (Argumentative, harsh words, fussing, mocking, name calling, smart retorts, even cursing).

¨  You come easily into agreement with evil thoughts about them.

¨  You are constantly bringing up past hurts; which are still fresh in the mind, no matter how long ago.


3.     Are you constantly involved in Strife and/or bringing about Division?:

¨  You are anxious to talk about the person behind their back. (“Don’t tell her I said this…”)

¨  You tell the same story over and over again, trying to make them look guilty and to make yourself look good.

¨  You are quick to start a fight or register a complaint, and you probably don’t recognize it, because you justify yourself in doing so.

¨  You hold the person hostage emotionally with constant negative talk and hard actions.

¨  You are short with them when they try to talk or converse with you.

¨  You don’t have time for them when they try to engage with you.

¨  You may set a trap to cause them to fall.

¨  You don’t want them to touch you. You resist their advances toward you, toward reconciliation and toward peace.

¨  You find it easy to enter into a scheme to hurt them, or defraud them.

¨  You have no peace yourself and you break the peace in an atmosphere.

¨  You try to make them feel guilty in order to make yourself feel good.

¨  If the person is a spouse, family member, church brother, etc., you do not want to share with them as a covenant partner.

¨  You desire to write them off – eliminate them.


4.     Do you have a Lack of Compassion for the person who offended you?:

¨  You feel lime and act like the person is the enemy instead of the demonic spirit(s) that has them in captivity.

¨  You have a spirit of hard-heartedness.

¨  You find it easy to not care about what happens to them.

¨  You want to see them hurt so that you can have your revenge and get even with them.

¨  You do not receive the Biblical instruction that we are one in Christ, so you do not properly discern the body of Christ.

¨  You find it easy to be rude verbally and physically.


5.     Are you operating in Ungodliness; A Loss of Spirituality; A Loss of Discernment and Spiritual Power, etc.?:

¨  You have become ineffectiveness in prayer. You have no effectual fervent prayer because you have no mercy on the other person.

¨  You blaming God: “Why did God allow this to happen?” You also blame others for the events in your life.

¨  You generally do not want spiritual guidance or to receive what the Word of God has to say about the situation.

¨  Check yourself! You may have mood swings; You may be holding a grudge; You may have an attitude towards the person.

¨  You may have body language and facial expressions that are ungodly (pouting, mouthy, pushy, aggressive and showing an attitude).

¨  You may have malice toward the person. You may want them to hurt because you hurt.

¨  You may have “no feelings” at all toward them. This would be contrary to call for us to love one another, honor and prefer one another above ourselves.

¨  Your “acts of love” may be phony, a play act, and in some cases hatred disguised.

¨  You may find yourself struggling with the situation rather than committing it to God so that you can take your rest.

¨  You may defraud the mate of due benevolence.

¨  You may be easily deceived because when you reject the Word of God deception is sure to follow. James 1:22


6.     Are you having feelings of Discouragement, Disappointment, Dejection, and/or Despair, etc.?:

¨  You may be filled with disappointment, discouragement and shame because of putting trust in mortal man instead of God.

¨  You may find your love is growing cold. (You have less and less love for them).

¨  You find that you have no Fruit of the Spirit: no Love; no Joy; no Peace; no Longsuffering; no Gentleness; no Goodness; no Faith; no Meekness; and no Temperance.

¨  You find that you have no Home and want to give up, quit or leave spouse, family, church, friends, job etc.


2 Corinthians 2:10-11 These Scriptures teach us that Satan’s schemes and plans involve outsmarting us by having us get into unforgiveness. Once we enter into unforgiveness, we cannot have the forgiveness of God as we have seen in other Scriptures. This in essence is the importance of living a life of forgiveness.


Actions that I must Take – People I must Forgive or Ask Forgiveness:






Forgiveness Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Father, I earnestly desire to forgive _____________ for the wrong that he/she has done to me, and/or for the things that have been said to me. I have not had peace about the situations regarding our relationship and I have noticed some of the symptoms of unforgiveness in my heart and in my ways of dealing with him/her.

I honestly desire to be cleansed from all of the bitterness, anger and defilement from these hurts and pains from my past with ____________.


Forgive me for holding unforgiveness in my heart, because I know that if I hold onto unforgiveness then I cannot be forgiven by You. However, I cannot forgive on my own and I need a work of Your grace to be able to really and truly forgive and let it all go.


You have given me the gift of forgiveness that I did not deserve, so I have chosen and decided to give _____________ the gift of forgiveness that he/she does not deserve. I also ask You to forgive and bless _____________ in the Name of Jesus Christ. I release __________ to come to true Repentance in the Name of Jesus and I pray that You restore us in right relationship and fellowship in Your eyes, in the Name of Jesus. I also forgive myself for entering into the sin of unforgiveness, bitterness and defilement.


Cleanse me of all unrighteousness and sin in the Name and the Blood of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. AMEN