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 drops the debt of payment we require, in order for us to forgive them. It opens the jail cell and lets us walk free. Judgment, however, is a cell reserved for two. Judgment by the power of your words condemns and imprisons you both. Judgment comes when you stand on top of the mountain and wonder why they are not where you are yet.
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.