Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Forgiveness



Sometimes, people you love and that love you, hurt you.  That's a reality of life.  Yet, it is our human nature to protect ourselves from ever being hurt again by holding a grudge against the person who hurt us.  It's not that we want to be bitter, angry people.  It's that we don't want to be hurt.  And by being vulnerable, trusting, . . . forgiving . . . we open ourselves up to further hurt. 

Why am I saying all of that?  It's because I have recently learned a very valuable lesson about bitterness and about forgivenss.

Recently, my family was hurt by someone, a hurt so deep that the bitterness from it consumed me.  Not only that, my bitterness affected my youngest son who had also been hurt.  It's as though my bitterness gave him permission to be bitter as well.
One day, a sweet, precious friend told me that I needed to be on my knees and to ask the Lord to set me free because the bitterenss was consuming me. That afternoon, I got down and begged the Lord to set me free and deliver me from my anger, bitterness, and resentment. The Lord saw my heart and knew I was crying out for His help.  I could not do this without Him.
Then I went downstairs to find my youngest son (who was home from school that day) so we could talk about what God was teaching me.  We talked about my bitterness and also about his bitterness.  We both asked the Lord to forgive us and to set us free from these feelings that were controlling our lives.
As I stand (ok sit) here today, I can tell you that the Lord lifted a weight from both of us that day. We are free from the weight of unforgiveness, and it feels amazing! There is a weight, a heaviness in your spirit that comes from holding a grudge, from being bitter.  I heard it said once that bitterness is like swallowing a poison and waiting for the other person to die.  So true.
I realized that by holding onto my resentment and bitterness towards the person who had hurt my family, my youngest son was following exactly what he saw me doing.  I was bitter and unforgiving, therefore he was bitter and unforgiving. (Great mom award, right? NOT!) The bitterness that was eating me alive was also eating him alive.
So, I am here to tell you, from personal experience, you will be wronged in your lifetime.  Someone is going to hurt you.  And when it happens, and it will happen, you have two choices; forgive or hold onto the hurt and anger.   
But I have learned this; when we hold onto the hurt and anger, it eats us alive, inside and out. It physically hurts our bodies.  And, if that's not enough, it also ages us on the outside too, YIKES!  And with all we, I do to try to stay looking younger,  (ok, I am vain, I admit) why would we age ourselves and live in bitterness and anger?  We lose!
It's good to be free, and forgiven.  And it's a great anti-aging RX!
From my side of the fence, I must constantly realize that Jesus offers me forgiveness every single day, many times a day. How can I do any less?

3 comments:

  1. beautiful powerful post my friend!

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  2. wow, Cathy. So true. It's scary what we pass on to our kids without even realizing it!

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