I don’t typically post on Sundays because I view it as my day off, but the Lord placed this burden on my heart for someone today (including myself).
That being said, if you are harboring any form of resentment, bitterness, hostility, anger, animosity, and/or antipathy towards a person in your past or present forgive them today. I am not going to delve into a lengthy spiritual discussion about the power of forgiveness and the benefits it brings, but I will strongly encourage you to discharge, release, relinquish, and exonerate the offender(s) no matter how big the offense was or is.
Some of you might be thinking that’s impossible and saying to yourself, “I can’t forgive him/her for what they did to me.” Well, the Lord promises that forgiveness is possible. Even when hurt seems too great to repair or restore, God tells us “I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). We experience a heart of stone when we are too angry, too selfish, or too frozen by the pain others have caused us. A heart of flesh, while it may be vulnerable, it is compassionate. A heart of flesh sees that while we are feeling pain, the other person may also be hurting for that pain they caused us. We can get so caught up in ourselves that we do not even notice another may be equally struggling from the offense. It is true that people need to be held accountable for their actions. But these people should not be bound in your mental prison forever at your expense.
When we forgive others there is a freedom where we are no longer shackled by our own anger. It moves us from our selfish illusions to a beautiful reality. Yes, I know it’s not easy. In fact, it’s hard work! But letting go of the fantasies that we can change the past, that we can change others, or even that we are the ones who can change ourselves opens room for God to help us ward off the resentment, bitterness, hostility, anger, animosity, and antipathy we feel. Each time we forgive, it paves the way for the next time we need to forgive. Practicing the courage and patience, and letting the Lord into the process of forgiveness becomes like exercising a muscle, it grows stronger and stronger. Together with Him we can come to a point where forgiveness is as intuitive to us as it is for God!
(If you can’t speak to that person by phone or face-to-face, all you have to do is automatically and wholeheartedly forgive them in your spirit and the deed is complete.)