‘We love because He first loved us.’ 1 John 4:19 NIV
One author writes: ‘Think of an area of unforgiveness and see if any of these reasons to hold a grudge resonate with you. (a) Anger keeps more potent emotions at bay; once it’s gone you fear the emotional flood that may follow. (b) A grudge takes time and energy, and you’re not sure who you’d be without it. (c) You’ve replayed your ‘personal-betrayal-and-hurt movie’ so often you know it by heart. (d) The idea of moving on is terrifying, whereas misery is familiar. (e) The offender has done nothing to deserve forgiveness. (f) Harbouring resentment stops you from getting hurt again because nobody can get close.’ Jesus said, ‘Why…look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?’ (Matthew 7:3 NIV) This author says, ‘I’ve banged my plank into walls and around corners so often I’m certain I have retina damage!’ Now consider these reasons for releasing a grudge. (a) Relinquishing past hurts frees you to embrace the present and future. (b) When you’re not spending time and energy feeding a grudge, you can nourish new, healthy ideas. (c) The offender can’t keep hurting you when you shake off the shackles and move on. (d) Holding a grudge feels like a form of control, but actually you’re the one being controlled. (e) Once you lower your defences you can start to heal, love, and be loved. (f) Feeling angry feels good temporarily, but being healed feels so much better. (g) God mandates us to love ‘because He first loved us.
You’ve held onto it long enough; it’s time to let it go and enjoy the freedom that comes from forgiveness.
SoulFood: Ex 19-21, John 2:12-25, Ps 110, Pr 26:13-16
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2013
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