Lately I have had a couple oppurtunities to forgive. My experience has been that the initial offense or whatever happens, I position my heart to ‘forgive’ mode, and forget about it. Then later on, when I am minding my own business, the enemy magnifies the offense in my mind. I get a fresh surge of anger and/or hurt. I realize I have a right to be ticked about it. Dangit. Anyone else?
I usually don’t get too far in this silent conversation with my anger and unforgiveness before (thankfully!) the Holy Spirit starts chiming in. Grace. Forgiveness. Love. Not just words but tangible and earth-shatteringly powerful tools in the arsenal of the child of God. I am commanded to forgive because HE forgives me, day after day. I am commanded to forgive because bitterness is a poison that woull swallow me alive.
So I wrestle that offense down to the mat. It’s sticky, it’s sweaty. It is tough to let go…at least at first. The more you actively release the offenses the easier it is to get the muck off of your soul.
I figure it is just like working a knot out of a muscle. It is pretty, uh, intense in the process. Painful. But some things have to be worked out unless you want to keep going on with a dull ache and tightness. The process is hard but you feel so much better when it is over.
In this life we have to become skilled at the art of letting things go. Granted, sometimes we genuinely do need to confront (in love) and sometimes there are bridges that need to be torched. But 90% of the offenses we run up against are just people being people. We can all be rude, selfish, inconsiderate at times and we all are going to need grace.
And when people do intentionally hurt you, you can know that your Heavenly Father is on it. Our business in the mess of it is to keep our own souls humble and right before God. And if say God has forgiven us for an oceans worth of sin in our lifetime can we forgive someone for a buckets worth?
Forgiveness doesn’t make what they did ok. It makes you ok.
Our hearts were created to stewards all the wonderful things of God. Bitterness will choke the beauty out of your heart like nothing else. So…forgive. Release. Bless. Move on.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Romans 12:14-15