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There’s a man in our Bible study at the Jail wrestling with unforgiveness. He comes to the study week after week faithfully and doesn’t say much. If he does happen to speak it seems to always revolve around the fact that he cannot bring himself to forgive the mother of his child. He’ll say something like “I know I’m supposed to forgive her, but I also know I can’t.” He seems stuck between his head and his heart.

Several of the other guys give him advice and ask him questions to no avail. Personally I think this all comes down to him just making a decision to forgive. I told him the last time we had this conversation part of his problem might be that he’s looking for a feeling to confirm the forgiveness. I told him his feelings may never seem to line up or he may have to walk in the forgiveness for a while before they do.

This particular night we were discussing that humans are made up of three parts spirit/soul/body. I reminded him of what we were just talking about. Our souls tend to fluctuate from good to bad and everywhere in between. When it comes to forgiving someone or loving them our feelings may not immediately confirm the decision.

He started the conversation by telling the group about his difficulty reading the Bible. He said, “You know when I read the Bible I don’t feel anything or get any special meaning or insight out of it.” He said, “I might as well be reading any other book.” He went on to share the answer to his own dilemma by saying, “Do you think unforgiveness is blocking me?” Unforgiveness is blocking insight into the Word. Isn’t it amazing how we already have the answers? He says he’s a believer, and that means the Holy Spirit dwells within him; so it isn’t that he doesn’t have the ability to hear from God he is simply living in disobedience.

I wonder how many of God’s people are living with a similar blockage. When I was first born-again I started reading the Bible and right away I began to understand it. It was as if God was speaking directly to me. I truly had no need of anyone to teach me because the Holy Spirit was the teacher.

Talking to the guys in jail about how I stopped smoking is always beneficial. I shared with them about how I smoked the last cigarette in the pack and Tracey and I prayed. My prayer was basically “God you and I both know I cannot stop smoking and I’m not going to stop if you don’t stop me.” Sometimes I think people are afraid to tell God the truth as if he doesn’t already know. Unforgiveness is the same way. This man says he can’t bring himself to forgive this lady so I told him to tell God that. I told him to pray something like “God you and I both know I can’t forgive her and I’m not going to if you don’t do it through me.” He seemed to understand what I meant and nodded in agreement.

I am expecting a miraculous change to take place in this man’s life soon. One day soon he’s going to walk into the Bible study a whole lot lighter and say to me–guess what? I’ve been reading the Bible and getting a whole lot out of it. This will be the signal that he has taken care of the blockage and the Spirit is flowing freely.

Written by Louie



  1. Hi Louie,
    The man’s comment shows the Spirit was working on him – only the Spirit could have revealed to him the block to his understanding the Word. Unforgiveness and bitterness are a truly a block, since they are really the expression of Satan – it is Satan masquerading as us who cannot forgive those who have hurt us, just as it is only Christ who can forgive in us and as us. When I am deluded into thinking that there is a “just me” who has to forgive this “other” who has hurt me, then I place myself under an impossibly difficult law (which demands perfection!). And Satan is ever ready to condemn me for failing to attain the requirement to forgive. How wonderful it is to know the difference between soul/flesh feelings and spirit truth and to know that Christ is the one who forgives as me.

    • I guess that depends on how you’re viewing that. The flesh is definitely a hindrance if we are being led by it but on the other hand we “humans” are the vessel in which God connects to this world. Interesting.

      • thats what i meant by humans–believers need to get out of the way in thier human orientation and let gods divine life do the living

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