People love to deny the fact that they struggle with unforgiveness. It’s as if admitting the fact that they have harbored resentment and anger opens the door to becoming acutely aware that it’s actually really there; seething, mutating, becoming infected just under the surface of their hearts. So it’s easier to deny it’s existence.
I wonder if the great danger, when it comes right down to it, is pride and unforgiveness are the sins that last the longest. Telling a lie is instantaneous. Done. Sin complete. Stealing? Doesn’t take too long. You can disobey in a moment. But harboring a grudge? Could literally last years, even a lifetime.
This particular sin could also be kept secret. A secret sin, which is really an oxymoron because nothing is hidden from the one who made you.
Nobody but God Himself can see inside your heart, but see He does. He desires to purge everything inside of us that does not bring Him glory.
He wants us to release everything to Him, surrendering all.
We don’t like to think about that, though, do we?
We compartmentalize that section of our heart like a partition in a busy emergency room. We close off the sick part of our soul away from immediate help thinking ironically that there are other parts of ourselves more needy, more urgent. We tell the Great Physician the other symptoms- we admit to the ones with a more quick and comfortable remedy.
We say things to ourselves, and others like, “Oh, I can forgive, I just can’t forget.”
If you have ever felt that, or said that, I would gently, but respectfully, challenge that you haven’t forgiven that person at all then.
When Jesus chose to forgive our sins, He chose to remember them no more. He chooses to forget all the bad things you’ve done.
Then why do we keep a hold of the sins of others?
To punish them?
More than likely they don’t even know why you’re angry. If it’s a spouse, all they know is that you’ve become an angry, and bitter person who’s not fun to be around.
You need to surrender. You need the power of Jesus Christ.
You need His grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s the opposite of a grudge.
Grace says, ‘Yeah that hurt, but I choose to forgive you and move on. I’m not going to wince when I think about your face. I don’t wish you had never been born, and I don’t think you’re Godforsaken. I’m moving forward.’
With God’s grace, your heart will say, ‘I’ve been forgiven so much, I would be a hypocrite not to forgive you.’
Please don’t misunderstand me. I realize great atrocities happen outside of our control, and great evil happens to us without our choosing. I sit down with some of you and have heard your stories. They have made tears stroll down my cheeks, and deepen the ugly wrinkles on my forehead. I can’t imagine how I’d feel inside if The Lord had allowed even a few of the things I’ve heard to have happened to me. But I’ve also seen many, many of these friends totally freed from their hatred and their pits of malice and sorrow by releasing their pain to the One strong enough to carry it.
Ephesians 4:32 “and be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”