I know you’re still mad…
Last week that chick at work said something slick, and you have yet to pay her back. And there’s the guy who never called you back like he promised. Then that family member whose name makes your stomach twist and turn into knots. And the kid from kindergarten who put gum in your hair… Ugh!
Your head throbs, stomach churns, and blood pressure climbs to the sky all because of someone else…
Or could you be the problem?
Everyday we are presented with the choice to forgive or to not forgive. But I’m going to tell you exactly what you don’t want to hear.
You MUST forgive! You MUST forgive! You MUST forgive!
It’s simply not an option. Here’s why…
Refusing to forgive means you are judging the person’s heart.
It’s often easy to classify an action as right or wrong, but we seldom know why a person made that bad decision. To withhold forgiveness means you are judging the intent of their heart. Only God is qualified to judge the heart. He gives us clues as to what’s going on inside of others, but He doesn’t share His throne.
When we judge others by refusing to forgive, we open ourselves to receive judgment.
We’ve all heard and quoted the scripture “Judge not, lest you be judged.” Simple scenario… I know someone who was very judgmental of me when I struggled with my “flesh”. They often made comments regarding my poor choices and discouraged me even though I was trying to do right. That person has recently found themselves battling the same issues. Unless you want to find yourself in that same tight spot, forgive and withhold your criticism of someone else’s wrongdoing. Encourage folks to do right with love or hold your peace. Truth be told, some saints need to just shut up until they can speak the truth in love.
Having unforgiveness in your heart is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill the other person.
Forgive the cliché, but it’s so appropriate. When you replay scenarios in your head, you’re literally dumping toxins (i.e. stress hormones) into your system. No wonder we end up with headaches, stomach problems, allergies, and food intolerances.
Your sins won’t be forgiven.
Perhaps if we made a list of our wrongs, then we won’t be so hasty in choosing not to forgive others.
Forgiving and forgetting are mutually exclusive.
Just because we forgive doesn’t mean we forget. It would be foolish to continually forget if someone abuses the relationship they have with you. You, sir and ma’am, are not a doormat. Don’t forget what happened, per se, but DO forget the emotions associated with it. I can, now, share with people the reason my marriage ended free from pain or emotion. I know the story well. It is my testimony. But when I tell it, I don’t cry, feel shame or embarrassment, or get angry. It really is JUST a story.
So who still makes your stomach turn? And who makes your blood boil?
Time to make some mental notes, so we can move forward.