If you’ve been alive longer than about 15 minutes, someone has probably hurt you or done you wrong. When that happens to any of us, we all have a choice – hold onto the hurt, or let it go and forgive.
Forgiving isn’t always easy, but holding onto hurt is like attaching a ball and chain to your ankle. Every time you try to run your race, that ball bangs against your leg, hindering your progress and causing you pain. It’s unforgiveness, plain and simple, and it affects every area of your life and steals your joy. It’s bondage!
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
I truly believe that, among other things, unforgiveness is one of those weights and yes, one of those sins. Holding onto hurt weighs you down!
Every time you rehearse that pain, remember that wrong, feel that “rot gut” in your stomach, there’s that ball and chain again, banging against your leg, keeping you from effectively running your race.
The only way I know to cut that chain and run unhindered into your future with peace and freedom, is to forgive.
The Bible points this out so clearly in Mark 11.
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (vv. 23, 24)
Those are great verses, and totally true, but look at the verse that follows right after them: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25).
I’m pretty sure the first two verses won’t work in our lives unless we obey the last one! And I don’t know about you, but I want my father in heaven to forgive my trespasses, don’t you? If so, we can see that there’s a condition right there. We must forgive.
Anything Against Anyone
And just on a side note, I love how Mark 11:25 says, “If you have anything against anyone.” I’m pretty sure that covers your situation and mine, no matter who’s to blame! Even people who should know better, even those who don’t deserve forgiveness. Anyone! Anything! The Bible says there’s simply no one we’re allowed to hold a grudge against.
I want to show you Mark 11:25 in the Amplified Classic Bible (AMPC), because I think it is such a great illustration of getting free from the ball and chain:
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
I love that visual! Just let it drop. Leave it. Let it go. Picture yourself dropping that hurt, that pain (that ball and chain) and just walking away from it, never to return. Leaving it. Letting it go. That is a picture of true freedom, my friend. That’s how God wants you to live.
This is an excerpt from Karen’s book, “’I Forgive You, But….’ 3 Steps That Can Heal Your Heart Forever.” Read the first part of the book here: http://iforgiveyoubook.com/