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  • Betty A. Burnett

Unforgiveness is Deadlier Than a Viper



This message stems from an experience and I feel the Spirit of God wants me to share it so that it can be an encouragement and a warning to others about harboring ill-feelings toward others. Not only that, whatever any of us do affects others, whether it is positive or negative. Example: If others who are weak hear negative talk about someone else, that same ungodly spirit will affect them and they will feel the same way.

“Unforgiveness” is not only for the children of God, but it is for the business/corporate world, as well, and any other unbelievers. This is what Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:31-32). But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth (Colossians 3:8).


Maybe some Christians don’t know about this scripture, therefore, they will not understand the seriousness of it- that what the awareness is.

Breakdown of words

Bitterness – poisoned by bitterness, harshness. Wrath – personal venting of anger – synonymous with wrath, clamor - a shout, outcry, clamoring against another.

Evil speaking - put it away from you with all malice (ill-will, desire to injure).

But be kind (gentle, pleasant), tenderhearted (compassionate, merciful), forgiving one another. Remember that we all needed forgiveness for what Christ went through for us. So, what gives anyone the right to hold something against another person?

“Unforgiveness” or harboring ill feelings is a sin.

Holding a grudge is when you harbor anger, bitterness, resentment, or other negative feelings long after someone has done something to hurt you. Usually, it's in response to something that's already occurred, other times a grudge may develop after simply perceiving that someone is against you or means you harm—whether or not they actually do.


It breaks fellowship with each other and for those who are born-again it breaks fellowship with our Father, and because of this turns His ears off to their prayers. If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18). Regard Iniquity- to fix one's eyes upon, direct one's attention to, anyone, with sin in my heart.


Love – how can you say you God? If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20). This scripture is for all those who profess to be born-again.

Many times, a person is holding something against someone else because they have some deeply embedded roots (personal issues) that haven’t been dealt with, and they do not realize it. Just maybe they have some guilt which causes them not to forgive themselves. These people do not realize they are condemning themselves and this makes them miserable, and their misery affects others.


When some unusual or unpleasant things start happening in peoples’ lives, it may be because they are harboring “Unforgiveness” in their hearts.


Moral of this message - Let’s examine ourselves truthfully and see if we are holding something in our hearts against others. Let’s not go any further into 2024 with the baggage of “Unforgiveness” that will hinder us from walking in victory.


~ Betty A. Burnett ~

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