“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” — Ephesians 4:32
I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase, “Get better, not bitter.” It’s catchy, but in reality a difficult concept to try to achieve. Life hurts. Life is messy. People will let you down. If you don’t redeem your pain, it will turn into bitterness. And bitterness leaks.
Forgiveness is hard. It’s hard to forgive those who have hurt you. It’s difficult even to forgive when they admit they’re wrong or made a mistake. I’ll never forget a quote I once saw on social media: “Forgive them even if they’re not sorry.” Mic dropped! Wow.
I have learned that forgiveness heals. It heals you. It heals your soul. If you think about your personal relationship with Christ, it started with forgiveness. He forgave us. He loved us so much that He died on the cross for our sins. I’m extremely grateful for His unconditional love, and that He forgave my past, present and future sins.
God’s Word tells us in Ephesians 4:32 to forgive others as Christ forgave you. We also read in Mark 11:25, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Our prayers are hindered when we have bitterness and a lack of forgiveness in our hearts.
Bitterness goes down to the basement of our souls and lifts weights. It will grow. It will get stronger. Bitterness cripples, hurting and damaging yourself and others.
If we decide to let our bitterness turn into brokenness, then God will do some powerful things in your life. God will use you BIG time. Anytime something is broken, something else is released. That brokenness will eventually heal. Sure, it takes time, and time does heal. It would be naive for me to say that you will completely forget about the pain, but the bitterness turns into wounds and those wounds turn into scars. Those scars will serve as reminders and will forever be part of your story — God’s story. Use those scars to point others to Jesus. Remember, His scars make a way for us to have a relationship with a holy God.
As the saying goes, “To heal a wound, you have to stop touching it.” It’s so easy to live in the past. To talk about the pain. God wants us to forget the things which are behind and look toward the future. Stop touching the wound! I know it’s hard to forgive, but pray and ask God to help. Christ forgave you, and He’ll empower you to forgive others too.
Prayer: “Dear God, please help me to get rid of any bitterness in my life. This very moment, I am reminded and so extremely grateful for Your forgiveness. Let me love and forgive as Jesus did and does.”
If there’s someone in your life you need to forgive, do it now! Name that person or group of people in your prayer, and trust in Christ. He will help you forgive.
— Jim Good
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