“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
I have been thinking about forgiveness lately since a friend from many years ago recently called my husband and asked if they could get together.
They did – and this person proceeded to ask forgiveness for something that happened almost 20 years ago. He wanted freedom from the guilt of what he had done. God had put on his heart that he had hurt my husband by some things he had done.
I have been thinking about forgiveness lately because I need it daily from my loved ones.
It is easiest to hurt those we love the most and who are closest to us.
Why is that? There are many reasons but those that come instantly to mind are:
* they are there – near us
* they are those we talk to the most
* it is easy to get busy and forget those who are most important to us
* we are self centered, sinful creatures
Jesus came to bring us forgiveness. His death on the cross took all our sin – from the most egregious deed to a jealous thought – Jesus paid the price for ALL sin.
Yet we must redeem it – just as we turn in a coupon for 40% off – we must ASK for forgiveness.
A coupon is no good if we don’t redeem it.
Forgiveness is no good if we don’t redeem it.
So, we must ask forgiveness, even if we don’t feel sorry. Forgiveness is an action – not a feeling.
Poison drains away life and kills.
Unforgiveness drains away life and kills. It fills us with bitterness and rots away our bones.
Proverbs 14:30 (AMP)
30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
When we fail to forgive someone – it really hurts us.
The person we are angry with or hurt by may not even know we harbor unforgiveness.
The opening quote was shared by a survivor of child sexual abuse and it was a statement her pastor spoke during a sermon. She shared that at that moment she realized she had to forgive the perpetrator of the abuse. After she forgave him, he no longer had any hold on her life. She was able to let go of the anger, resentment, and hurt.
She was free!
Forgiveness set her free.
Forgiveness does NOT justify what one person has done that hurts another. Forgiveness loosens the hold of sin and its effects on one’s life.
Matthew 6:14-16 (AMP)
14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
This may mean forgiving our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters. Just as there is hurt in our families, there is hurt in the family of God as well that needs forgiveness.
Don’t drink the poison!
May we walk in the freedom of forgiveness each and every day.