I’ve preached forgiveness for many years. For some time now I’ve been fighting a battle* I will not win this battle and in the process I have found something growing in my heart that prior to this I have been able to stave off - bitterness. That ugliest of traits (Romans 3:13-15). It gnarls the brow and raises the blood pressure. It makes one who is joyful, joyless and one who is pleasant to be around, difficult to tolerate. I made a decision last week. I am going to forgive this wrong. I still want to fight this fight. I still want to have my say. I still want the person to come to me to make things right. But, I cannot allow this root to grow in my life (Hebrews 12:15). I will not give satan a foothold (2 Corinthians 2:11). I will not let it consume me - it has been eating me.
Yes, it will cost me. But holding on to it will cost me much greater things. Time, energy, health, joy, stress, sleep, diet, creativity, productivity - they’ve all suffered as I’ve entertained this alluring guest. I have been too ignorant of how he has used this.
Yes, it will disappoint some who want me to continue to fight with them. But perhaps my model will aid them in moving forward too. And, regardless, this is not about them but my own soul.
Yes, it will leave some wrongs unrighted. But I can’t handle it and the only One I know who can, will (Romans 12:19).
I am not a good man (Romans 7), don’t cause my vanity to well up by accusing me of being one. I’m not, but I will not allow this to make me a worse man. So, I forgive.
Will I never think about the hurt again? I wish - but I don’t know. But this I do know. In order to win the prize of God’s forgiveness I must forgive (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:21-35). I will receive the same measure of mercy I hand out (Matthew 7:1-3).
His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). How can I forgive? How can I NOT? And to tell you the truth - I feel better already.
*This is a real battle that I feel I am in the right over but to tell you more would be to elicit you to be on my side, or to feel my pain, or to help me win, or to grab your pity and none of those things would help me be what I know I am meant to be. To even share this with you is risking some improper motives but I hope my struggle will help some with their own struggle.