Instead of insisting on the unity of the mind, we need to preserve the unity by taking the initiative to be the peacemaker in our relationships. Most of the ground Satan and his forces gain in the lives of the body of Christ are due to unforgiveness, and we are warned by Paul to forgive others so that they cannot take advantage of us.
Forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our concept of justice; we want revenge for offenses suffered. Bitterness and unforgiveness toward other believers is the most widespread stronghold that Satan and his forces enjoy, and if we do not let offenders off our hook, we are hooked to them, we need to let go.
Relationally, forgiveness is crucial to our maturity, it is the glue that holds the body of Christ together. Satan and his forces use unforgiveness more than any other human deficiency to stop our growth and our ministry of reconciliation, because the unforgiving believer is yoked to the past or to a person and is not free.
We do not forgive someone merely for their sake, we do it for our sake so we can be free, because unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan and his forces bondage in our lives, we are of the body of Christ, and that is enough to bring us together in peace.
The shoes of peace become protection against the divisive schemes of Satan and his forces when we act as a peacemaker among believers, but we should not try to rationalize or explain the believer’s behavior, forgiveness deals with our pain, not another’s behavior.
Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another believer’s wrong, our only choice is whether we will do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or the freedom of forgiveness.
Our need to forgive is not an issue between us and the offender, it is between us and God, and if we fail to speak the truth in love and manage our emotions, anger which turns to bitterness and unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan and his forces.
Forgiveness is a choice, forgetting may be a result of forgiveness, but it is never the means of forgiveness, and when we bring up the past against others, we have not forgiven them.
Forgiveness does not mean that we must be a doormat to their continual wrongdoing, it is okay to forgive another’s past wrong, and at the same time, take a stand against future wrongdoing.
The shield of faith does not create reality; the shield of faith responds to reality, because forgiveness is a crisis of the will, a conscious choice to let the other person off the hook and free ourselves, though we may not feel like making this decision, but this is a crises of the will.
We put on the shoes of peace, because we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, and we must base our relationships with others on the same criteria on which God bases his relationship with us: love, acceptance and forgiveness.