I was talking to my treatment group once about forgiveness and I was a little taken back by the level of un- forgiveness and contempt I heard in the voices of the people there. They spoke in no uncertain terms of their desire to see their offenders mercilessly destroyed.
It’s interesting to me how I can talk to people for days on end about forgiveness only to realize that I’m not making ANY headway with them. Some people have decided…no, it’s stronger than that…they have VOWED to not forgive. That’s a scary thing. They have no idea what they are doing to themselves.
Un- Forgiveness is Like a Cancer
Jesus said that the evil one comes to steal, rob and destroy. I’m convinced that one of the evil one’s schemes of destruction is un- forgiveness. It’s like a cancer that eats away at your soul every day you allow it to be there. Yet we often believe the lie that un- forgiveness empowers us.
If someone hurts you …why do you want to marry yourself to that person through hatred and revenge, allowing their memory to hurt you over and over again? You invite them back into your life everyday to abuse you one more time.
My class had a 60-year-old man and a 20-year-old girl…both trapped in unforgiveness. The 60-year-old had been that way his entire life…and it showed in every deep line on his face. I hoped the girl saw what I saw. I wanted to ask her…is that what you want to look like in 40 years? Is your bitterness and resentment worth it? You see her hatred doesn’t hurt her offender…only her. Why do that to yourself?
If she DID hurt him with some act of retribution, what would that achieve? Then she would have to deal with the guilt and consequences. Plus, she would reduce herself to her offender’s level. I want her to have a good life. I want her free to reclaim her life.
Forgiveness Sets You Free
The best thing you can do for YOURSELF is forgive. Move on. Take back your life. Let God deal with your abuser/betrayer. Forgiveness will do that for you. It sets you free from the cancer of un- forgiveness. You don’t need to forgive the small things. You forget those things. It’s the BIG things you need to forgive; abuse, betrayal, divorce. You forgive because you CAN’T forget. If you don’t forgive you are cursed to carry the pain for the rest of your life. How foolish is that?
Question: What keeps you from forgiving?Leave your comment below.
To learn more about how to forgive check out my new book STUCK…how to mend and move on from broken relationships