"Harboring unforgiveness in our hearts is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."-Joyce Meyer
I have a confession. I have struggled with unforgiveness for a long time. At times I thought I had let go of it, and other times it is so blatantly obvious in the forefront of my mind that I can't seem to think about anything else.
The person I've been poisoning myself over probably doesn't even remember that I exist. They most likely have moved on with their life and forgotten all about the pain they caused. I can only imagine that they harbor no feelings of regret or remorse toward me, and that I haven't been torturing their thoughts the way that they have tortured mine.
I know better than this.
I could come up with a bunch of reasons why I still struggle, and why my trust has been tested and tattered and how I can't go back to the way that I was before the hurt was caused. I can explain why revisiting those scars, and remembering the pain reminds me of how far I've come.
But when I think about the excuses and the justification, it all falls short, because those details fail when put against the Word of God. When it comes to forgiveness, and letting go of the hurt, The Lord is clear on what He expects from us:
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Nowhere in those scriptures does it say UNLESS. There is no acceptable excuse. And that can be a really hard thing to grasp, and swallow. It doesn't matter if she tried to ruin your marriage, it doesn't matter if he broke your heart, it doesn't matter if she took all of your money and lied about it, it doesn't matter if he ran over your cat. I know these are some hard circumstances. And we are all so human and naturally led by our emotions that we really want to hang on to those feelings of righteous anger.
But even if the anger and hurt and pain is righteous (you were wronged by someone by all definition,) you have to let them go. Forgive them.
Releasing them of the offense is actually the only way you will relieve yourself of the pain. This does not mean to let them hurt you again or pretend it never happened in the first place, but to move forward without holding on to that bitterness.
Grace. We all want it. Can we start giving it a little more? How about a lot more??
"If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking" - David Crowder Band - How He Loves Us
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.