“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” ~ George Herbert
Every one of us — let me emphasize: EVERY ONE OF US — is in need of forgiveness. We have all said something or done something to hurt another person. We have all left something undone or unsaid that has hurt another person. None of us is perfect.
While we might have no problem admitting that none of us is perfect, we often expect that to be understood of us but not of the other. In our mind, everyone else had best be perfect. If they are not, we often hold grudges and withhold forgiveness.
The unwillingness to forgive does nothing but allow wounds to fester. I truly believe that is the perfect metaphor. We all have heard of people who have died of infections because they were left untreated. Without proper treatment, the infections can spread and the next thing you know, the person has developed sepsis — infection of the blood — that quickly destroys all the organs and kills the person.
Our spiritual body is no different. If we allow unforgiveness to go unchecked, it will fester in our soul and, sooner or later, turn us spiritually septic. Have no doubt about it, unforgiveness can kill the soul. It can make us so cold-hearted that we lose the desire for God.
Joyce Meyer, in one of her treatises on the need for forgiveness, reminded us to “get rid of all poison that comes from bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. And remember Proverbs 4:23: ‘Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flow the springs of life.’ Unforgiveness is spiritual filthiness, so get washed in the water of God’s Word to forgive and stay clean.”
I do not think it would take us very long at all to come up with one, two, or several names of people whom we have refused to forgive. Should it be that way?
For their sake as well as your own, consider forgiveness this day.
FAITH ACTION: In quiet prayer today, bring to mind someone whom, for one reason or another, you find difficult to forgive. Ask God for the grace that you need to forgive that person. Ask Him to forgive you, as well, for holding on to that unforgiveness in your heart.