Can you imagine hauling a huge couch on your back every day? Can you envision having a massive boulder strapped to your back permanently? Can you fathom being encumbered with football lineman tied to your back constantly?
As disruptive, demanding and unpleasant any of these scenarios are, there is one that is even worse. Yes, there is one thing that is heavier than the rest and more difficult to bear than all the weight of the world. What is this colossal weight? It is a GRUDGE.
See, holding a grudge is equal to being full of bitterness and resentment. When these things are allowed to linger and remain unresolved for extended periods of time, they grow into a 200 pound spiritual goiter that disfigures us and ruins our lives.
Unresolved issues first slow you down and then beat you down and finally crush you under their weight. There is no heavier excess baggage in life than the bitterness and resentment that grows from unresolved issues springing from being unfairly treated or wronged by another.
When someone hurts us, we either deal with it and move on or we allow it to start festering in our souls like a boil. 99 times out of 100, unresolved issues grow into ugly cysts and ultimately burdensome spiritual goiters. People who never deal with these issues become unpleasant, then negative, then vindictive and finally obsessed with getting even.
The desire for revenge is bred into us in our culture and especially in athletics. In fact, there is a spectacle in sports called a "grudge match" when teams who hate each other feel it necessary to get revenge. This animosity is a great motivator and inspires players to try harder and play dirtier than normal.
The Bible warns us to not allow the root of bitterness to take hold. Instructions are given in many of the epistles to put away the anger, wrath, animosity and desire for revenge that cause people to actively seek the hurt of another instead of loving them.
Forgiveness is the only way to short circuit resentment and keep it from turning into an active desire to inflict hurt upon another. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and forgive them. Paul taught us to not render evil for evil but rather forgive others as we have been forgiven.
In many respects, the single greatest thing that sets true Christianity apart from all other religions is forgiveness. Because Jesus was willing to give His life to pay for our sins, God was able to forgive us completely and absolutely. Forgiveness is indeed at the very center of our faith.
Forgiveness deflates those ugly and encumbering spiritual goiters and shrinks them to the point they no longer impede us. Forgiveness allows us to move on without being trapped in a never ending cycle of retaliation. Forgiveness is the manifestation of love and love covers a multitude of sins, both our own and those who have wronged us.
Thank you for sharing this , dear Brother! And forgiving ourselves, too-forgiveness really, truly frees us from these horrible weights! Well, my friend-it was a joy to know you here on CB-appreciate what you have often shared-and the focus always to be on God and to never give up. And thank you also for sharing about your furry friens and the Good Lord continue to Blesss you and Blest richly along the straight and narrow! Dave
I am thinking that often times we may say the words, "I forgive" but we have not forgiven in our hearts. Often times, it is very difficult to forgive someone, especially if they have done something over and over again and yet Jesus is quite clear on this matter. We must forgive. We know now that unforgiveness has a terrible physical as well as mental and spiritual impact upon us. It really does. There have been people who have discovered their physical health improved once they truly forgive.
Yes, forgiveness can often seem impossible but that is when we must remember that with God all things are possible. If we allow Him to do so, He can transform our heart into a heart of forgiveness and give us the strength to do what we were not able to do... forgive.
A little time is a great aide to the forgivness process. After a short time, the insult or issue usually loses importance. This makes forgiveness a lot easier for me. If not forgiveness, then at least a "mental shrug", and then moving on. - Bibleguy64
A fantastic message, b2y, and well worded too! I wish I could send this to one person in particular I know. She claims to be a "righteous Christian," but she has no idea what forgiveness is! She has carried a grudge against me for 10 YEARS...and I see no end to it. What's worse, she is teaching her children to do as she does!
Nothing kills quite like hatred! God bless...
I am blessed by your rich choice of words here... "Forgiveness is the only way to short circuit resentment" and "Forgiveness deflates those ugly and encumbering spiritual goiters and shrinks them." It's scary to think how many of us carry around with us spiritual goiters... I wanna run to the altar now. I choose to forgive!