Have you ever genuinely just not wanted to forgive someone? I have. It’s hard sometimes, whether we have been wronged, or someone we love has. It’s tough. It’s the hardest thing to give away, and the last thing on your mind today. So often we, even us Christians, withhold this great gift, but when we do this, we are only really hurting ourselves. Our hearts can become hard and cold — numb to others. We can lose sight of our purpose and meaning in life, ebbing away to the strong grip of bitterness. 

Bitterness — that awful chain that we are often deceived into choosing. It’s something we choose. We not only allow it to creep in, but we welcome it. We grow bitter and don’t forgive, as if our withholding it gets people back or teaches them a lesson. But it only makes things worse; much worse, because regardless of the other person’s state, now we too have messed up. We can try to justify it all day long, even have a convincing argument, but it’s still not right and it still will make us miserable. 

When we are like that, we are the ones losing. Our forgiveness has more to do with us than the other person, because you see, whether we forgive someone or not, Jesus does. When Jesus won the victory over sin, he beat bitterness, and he gave us the best example of how to forgive in his death on the cross. It’s love. He laid down his life for millions of people that hated him, he died for every sinner there ever was and ever will be, and he chose to! He prayed “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” over the roman soldiers that crucified him! 

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV 

~ Grant

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