I was on the phone the other night with a dear friend who has had a really tough life.
My friend has suffered for years with panic attacks and various physical ailments as well. As we continued to talk, I kept hearing the word, “unforgivingness.”
The poor guy is pouring out his soul and you’re the one that is chosen to ask the question, “do you hold on to offenses, find it difficult to forgive people when they hurt you, or harbor bitterness toward them?”
Well… after years of trying all kinds of “bandaids” to cover the source of his pain, a series of questions tempered with love, found the latent root of my friend’s problem.
Over the years, I’ve encountered so many hurting, broken people. And my first inclination is to want to fix everything! As you can imagine, mortals attempting to solve “God sized” problems, easily wears out both the man, and his resources.
And so there are certain observations worth mentioning here:
- Unforgivingness hurts you.
- Bitterness manifests like cancer, the bible says, “it dries the bones.”
- Instant “forgivers” are the happiest people on earth, and they live longer.
- It is impossible to love without forgiveness.
- It is possible for you to forgive and be “released,” even if the other party chooses NOT to forgive you.
Everyone has their own “self governed,” level of forgiveness, some people easily let things go, while others hold on to grudges for years.
My advice? View unforgivingness like a scalding hot potato… drop it quickly, and don’t pick it up again!
Where it’s true that love is the most powerful force in the universe, it’s impossible to love unless you are forgiving!
I will never forget reading the story of a father who’s nine year old daughter, who had been raped and beaten to death, visited the cell of his daughter’s murderer.
The girl’s father stared into the eyes of the man who murdered his daughter, reached his arms through the bars to clasp the murderer’s hand and said, “I forgive you.” I cannot fathom the power of that moment or the God who empowered this man to forgive his greatest enemy.
And speaking of God, (I do often!) who allowed his only Son to suffer on behalf of mankind by crucifixion. Here is the picture of forgiveness, personified… after being nailed hand and foot to a rough hewn cross, looked his murderers in the eye and then looking toward heaven said, “FORGIVE them, for they know not what they do.”
I know what I do, you know what you do, and yet God forgives us… how then, knowing this, can we NOT forgive one another?
It’s inevitable that you and I will do or say something that will hurt someone from time to time. Here is the key, when you see a hurt look on another persons face, quickly examine your words, swallow your pride and say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
The power of forgiveness is the evidence of love…always be guilty of love!
“If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.” -Mother Teresa
Michael S. Tyrrell
P.S. Please forgive me for telling you that the word, “unforgiveness” is incorrect, it is actually, “unforgivingness.” :) Seriously, this was a total shock to my vernacular well-being! I have been actively using unsanctioned word’s, that irregardless (oops there’s another one) of what you may think, is poor grammar. I always dedicate 120% (there is only 100% Michael) to my readers, and supposably, (oops) I have a grate (ahhh) command of the Inglish (oh my) language. Maybe all of these type oh’s : ) arr the result of too much expresso… mi apologies –M