You know that we are told it is healthy to forgive. I know I can not walk a victorious life and have hatred and anger stirring and festering.
So when I was hurt by a friend years ago, I forgave her. I did what Jesus instructed and I forgot that sin. I did walk away from the friendship, as this person had left me raw and unable to trust them. The relationship was not healthy, to be so bold, I was almost bullied by the sly comments that tore down and then the lies and gossip against me. But I forgave and moved on, or so I thought.
You will find out the hard way that bitterness has taken root, if you had just buried the pain of a situation and moved along.
That very root will still fester its way to the top again and stare you defiantly in the face.
For me this root of bitterness, reared its ugly head through Facebook. Yep, the lovely social network, that now tells you whenever your friends like or comment on another’s page or status. As soon as I saw this old friend’s picture on Facebook, my heart started racing, my stomach was in knots and I wanted to erase her off of Facebook! I was angry, all over again. I felt like I had years ago when this friend first wronged me over and over. I wanted to be angry with the friend that was communicating with her. I wanted to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum. Was I bitter much?
Often when we are face to face with our bitter roots, we want to talk all about our troubles and how we were wronged with other people. If we are talking about it, we have not truly forgiven.
Like a splash of cold water across the face, I realized, I had not forgiven.
This person still had a hold on my emotions and feelings, for only one reason, I had allowed them to.
To forgive completely, you keep no account of wrong doings. You let them go as far as the east is from the west. You no longer hold the individuals accountable for what they had done, but pardon them instead. It is a very difficult concept to grasp when you are full of pain and hurt. It is extremely difficult in our flesh, when you have every right to be angry.
This is especially hard when individuals take no responsibility for the way they had hurt you. And I use this past friendship as an example, but I have been injured by far greater offenses that I am leaving untouched at this time.
How do you forgive, when someone would continue to hurt you the same way given the chance? How do you forgive when you know that they have no intentions of changing, or admitting their wrong. Or how do you forgive when they ask you, but have no right to ask, for their acts were far to hurtful to deserve forgiveness.
The truth is, you forgive out of love. You forgive out of obedience. You forgive with the help of the Father, when you just can’t do it on your own. It says, He is only able to forgive us, as much as we are willing to forgive others. I will not allow someone who hurt me once, to keep me from forgiveness of the Lord. I will not allow them to consume my thoughts and steal my peace, because I want to hold on to wrong doings.
How do you forgive? You let go. You truly release the pain, the anger, the wrong doings and say, I forgive them. I am choosing to wipe it from my memory. I am choosing to walk in love which is kind, long-suffering and keeping no records of wrongs. And for my most bravest of days, I pray for them.
The moment I truly forgave, was freeing for me. When I am tempted to pick it back up, I remind the offense that I let go and will not hold on to it.
Bitterness is not only spiritually strangling, but wreaks havoc on the physical body as well. I want no part of those nasty roots and will pluck them out one by one….. with the Lord’s help.
** This is the next topic for ladies’ group … A Sister’s Pursuit of Joy. I will be conducting a study on what the scriptures state about forgiveness. We will be sharing our hearts and praying for one another to let go of the roots of bitterness.