What happens when we won’t forgive? Rightly described as a poison we drink ourselves, unforgiveness eats away at everything we are and live for. It kills our hopes and dreams, sucking life from every facet of our being.
I am finding forgiveness difficult right now.
Some hurts reoccur with a regularity that makes it so difficult to let go of. Some offenses cut so deep that they will not heal with band-aids and platitudes. Marriage, brothers, parents, old friendships are where these things happen. It finds no ground in the new relationship, the acquaintance, for they are easily let go of. But in the soil of what should last, we find the place that seeds of anger, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness find their environment for growth. The place where we are hurt, and then hurt again, and again by those who should never want to cause us pain, that is where this poison does its work.
And out of this venom, we lash out at those around us, hurting others out of the hurt that we feel.
And nothing can stop this juggernaut of destruction. It will go on ad infinitum, through generations, through changes in culture and politics, despite all that we do to cover it, to medicate it, to deny its existence. And the only way out, the only thing that can set anyone free, is to forgive.
I will not hold to your account the debt you owe me. I will not make you pay for the wrongs I have suffered. I forgive you.
This malignancy will no longer live in my heart, in my family, in my church, in my home.
I forgive you.