I read something recently that really stuck with me. Basically, it said that unforgiveness is like holding onto red hot coals with the intention of throwing them at someone who hurt you– you end up being the only one who gets burned.
I also like the analogy that bitterness is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Someone reading this needs to forgive someone. Not because the other person has shown signs of being sorry or even because they deserve it. Forgiveness releases the other person from the expectation that they can fix what they did wrong to hurt you, as one pastor put it. It also releases you from carrying a burden of bitterness.
Above all, we’re called to forgive because we’ve been forgiven of so much more. Jesus tells the parable of the servant who has just seen a million dollar debt cancelled and then immediately proceeds to harass another servant over who owes him $100.
The point is that anything anyone has ever done to us pales by far in comparison to what we’ve done to God, how we’ve spurned Him, and how we’ve continually rebelled against Him.
One of the key points of the Lord’s prayer is that we pray to God to forgive us our transgressions JUST AS we’ve forgiven those who’ve transgressed against us. If we refuse to forgive others, we can’t expect God to forgive us.
Only as we learn to receive God’s forgiveness and to forgive ourselves can we really and truly forgive others. It’s a supernatural power that can only come from above into a heart transformed by the love of Jesus.
God, give us forgiving hearts and help us to remember that you have forgiven us of so much. May we learn to that forgiveness is the true way to freedom not just for others but for ourselves.