Have you ever found something in the back recesses of your refrigerator only to see that the tupperware container no longer holds what you thought was leftovers, but some sickening sewage with a matching rancid odour? You thought it was in a sealed ziplock, yet over time, and with much neglect, your midnight snack has morphed into a grade six science project?
This is what unforgiveness is. This is what it does to the heart.
Holding onto unforgiveness seems like protection. It seems like I can put it into a storage container, keep it in a cold environment, and there it will stay, until I’m ready to deal with it. And, for a time, it is safe. Until I forget about it for too long, and do not take any measures to decide what to do with it.
Eventually, mold and mildew will grow, a stench will develop, and I won’t be able to ignore it any longer. Unfortunately, this will all happen at à most inconvenient time.
Forgiving is difficult, especially with deep hurts.
Forgiveness requires confrontation with the person who offended you and no one really wants to do that.
What they want to do is ghost the person who has offended them, complain about them behind their back, and hold onto their anger and hurt in hopes of protecting their heart from this type of pain ever again.
Yet this is not healing. This is not the work that needs to be done. Cocooning your heart will not turn it into à butterfly. Holding it safe and secure will only cause the mold to grow, blackening it as it rots and festers in the darkness, the place where the devil loves to work.
Forgiveness must begin with me.
First, I need to realize how much I’ve been forgiven. In Luke 8:10, Jesus says,” The kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘through seeing, they may not see; through hearing, they may not understand.” I, like so many others, long to see what God is doing. I long to hear God speak to me. I long to please him with my praise and influence others to see his goodness and love.
But how can I do that when I hold onto my unforgiveness like a shield of protection?
I am not pleasing God and thus “my sin has deprived me of the goodness of God (Jer 5: 25). Romans 16:19 tells us to be wise about what is good and innocent of what is evil. What is the wisdom we need to know about God’s goodness?
It is good to forgive. This is freedom. This is power in Jesus’ name.
As I realize and remember how much I have been forgiven, I find myself coming to the Lord, no longer with my pumped fist in the air shouting,”Why?” but on my bowed knees, whispering, “I’m sorry.”
My heart is cracked open and I weep before the Lord.
I tell him all my hurts, all my pain, all my sorrow. I confess my sin to him, open up my wounds, asking him to touch them and heal them.
I’m able to lay my heart bare before the Lord, have him mold it, and mold me into the person he desires me to be. This requires vulnerability and honesty. Not only with God but with myself. Forgiveness is not putting my trust in the offender, but putting my trust into God, the one who can offer true forgiveness.
So Jesus, forgive me.
Forgive me for closing off my heart to you.
For trying to hold onto my pain as a way of sheltering my heart.
For not giving this over to you, for many years.
Please take away this pain. I hold it out to you as an offering, asking for you to do à work in me and through me. Change me from the inside out. Help me not to see as the world sees, but to see as you see, and hear your voice speaking to my heart. Moving me to do your will rather than trying to arm wrestle you into doing mine.
Isaiah 6:9 continues to say that those who do hear and see will “understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” This is now the new me. This is what I want. I want to turn and be healed. To be healed by The Healer.
Further reading o0n forgiving: 6 Insights To Forgiving
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