To forgive, according to Merriam-webster.com is to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong), to stop blaming (someone), to stop feeling anger about (something)
I have been down the road of bitterness which was brought about by my state of unforgiveness. I remember a relationship I was in many years ago. My heart was broken into very little pieces after that relationship. I remember just hating the man. I could not stand even hearing his name. I blocked that experience which by the way is not a good way of dealing with pain. It will resurface at some point which it did. Around two years after I got married, this man resurfaced back into my life. Not literally but in my mind. And all the hatred showed up. God had to deal with the issue of unforgiveness in my life that was well hidden. I finally had to come to a place of forgiveness and deliverance. I felt free after I forgave. I learnt that I don’t have to wait for someone to tell me sorry so that I forgive them.
In the passage found in 2 Samuel 13:20-30, Absalom was so angry with his brother Amnon because he had raped his sister Tamar. Although Absalom was angry, he did not show it toward Amnon. Two years later, Absalom killed Amnon because of what he had done to Tamar. Why? He did forgive him. His refusal to forgive led to
- His brother’s death
- Him fleeing.
Of note: Absalom did not change Tamar’s situation by killing Amnon. The only person who would have changed this situation would have been Tamar herself. She suffered greatly from the rape and when bad things happen, we do have to move on. This is a topic for another day.
The result of many broken relationships is broken hearts. When we do not forgive,
We cannot heal
Healing is important after a relationship has ended. Our hearts are delicate and when people break them, we have to go through a healing process in order to be whole. If we do not forgive, we cannot go through this process. When we forgive, we allow the Lord to heal our broken hearts.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalms 34:18(NLT)
We hold on to anger which leads to bitterness
Have you ever talked to people who are always angry? Something small happens that triggers a whole range of emotions. I have met people like that. I have given them grace because I know there is an underlying issue. When we allow anger to take root, it bears fruits. And I promise you, it is not the Fruit of the Holy Spirit that it bears.
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:20 (NIV)
It is hard to be around people who are angry all the time. It is difficult to have friends who have to deal with your anger day in day out. Worse of all, you are no longer in control but anger has taken control of you.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27(NLT)
We cannot move on
When we are bitter about the person who broke our hearts, we cannot move on from that time. It is like we are suspended in that month, year, time and events that led to the break up. We replay it over and over again. The more we replay it, the more angry we get.
We become blind
Bitterness blinds us from seeing the good things God has in store for us. You are not able to recognize the man God has brought your way. God has a plan for all of us that gives us a hope. When we are stuck in the past, many things are put on hold. We waste time and energy instead of putting it to good use. We allow the enemy to control our lives. What do you think Absalom did? He gave a foothold to the devil and killed his brother. He became a murderer and that action caused him greatly.
Forgive and let go. Allow the Lord to heal you and make you whole. He is able to do that. It is for your own good. You will look back and thank God that you forgave.