Forgiving others is never an easy proposition. I know the sting of feeling betrayed and/or lied to. But to not forgive is to forsake the very Word that God has not only given us, but called us to embrace.
The fact is, holding on is only hurting you. I’ve heard it said, to not forgive is like drinking poison hoping the other person will die.
Here’s the deal, we all have experienced some sort of relational breakdown. How many times have I heard those words, “But you don’t know what they did”? And I am sure it was wrong at that. However, we read in Paul’s letter to the church of Colossae, we have to “make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13).
I know it doesn’t seem fair, but then when it comes to God’s grace to each of us, that’s not fair. So, we forgive.
The enemy wants to deceive us into thinking that true release, real freedom, lies in revenge. But that is why he is the father of lies. He doesn’t want us getting well, but rather to experience hell.
Now listen, if you do a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of bitterness, you will find that there is always an enormous cost, and zero benefit. Holding on wreaks havoc on our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I have never met a person who equates resentment with rest. Research even shows that a lot of sickness is in lieu of unresolved hurt. It really is not so much of what we eat that is killing us, but rather what we allow to eat at us.
In the book of Job we read – “One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life” (Job 21:23-25).
What a lousy way to live when we continually hold on to what has already been done. And precisely why Jesus went to the cross – so we don’t have to stay cross.
So, allow me to invite you to take hold of a pen and some paper, and write down a prayer, a prayer that might go something like this – “God, I want to thank You for the grace You have extended to me. I confess my sin of holding on rather than letting You. Please forgive me for the bitterness I have held in my heart. Right now, I am asking You to help me let go and let You. I forgive as You have forgiven me. Amen.”