I’ve joked before that my husband says I hold a grudge like a glass holds water. He says that because I have a hard time with forgiveness. I like to receive it but I struggle to give it.
Because I wasn’t always authentic about what I was feeling while I was feeling it, I allowed hurt to fester in my spirit. How many of you realize that cancer is like a rebellious cell and it just takes over after a while. You’re not even aware of it but it’s constantly multiplying, splitting, and dividing. Unforgiveness is the same way. When we don’t speak our truth and give people a chance to correct things while they’re fresh, offense is left to brew like a strong cup of tea.
People around me would move on with their lives as if everything was fine while I was slowly simmering the list of offenses that I believed they had committed against me. All I ever had to do was speak up but I never did. When I finally decided to open my mouth, I was like an Uzi just firing in all directions striking anything and anyone in my way. Not only was I expecting people to apologize for offenses that they were totally unaware of, but I wanted them to make things right when they had no idea that anything was wrong.
It’s so important that we don’t hold things in and that when something is bothering us we speak up right away. Clearing the air is the best way to have healthy relationships. If people really care about you they’ll work with you to fix things quickly; if they don’t care, wouldn’t you rather find out sooner rather than later?
We are responsible for our own emotions and the way we display them. When something hurts us, we have to let people know because they are not mind-readers. If we quietly nurse a pain or offense, it only becomes bigger in our minds and invisible to those around us. No one else can fix us; that’s something that we have to allow the Spirit of God to do within us. Even at that, we must bring our hurts to the altar and confess them to the Lord.
No one else is responsible for your feelings; and when you forgive them you shift the responsibility from them back to yourself where it rightly belongs. When you forgive, you set two people free in the process, them and yourself, and you make room for God to work. Remember, we were responsible for the Cross; it was our sin that made it necessary. We can never erase the pain of that day, yet we have been forgiven and set free. We are not held accountable for our past offenses; we are responsible for how we move forward.
Give the precious gift of forgiveness to someone else today and see how much better you feel once you do.