I used to be one of those people who never forget. I never forget all the offences, insults or other forms of hurt and pain that certain people have inflicted on me. I used to keep them all bottled up inside that I'm pretty sure I could go off like a bomb anytime another battery of offence come my way. I keep track of incidents and episodes of sufferings and oppression by other people.
Although I am not vindictive, unknowingly I have kept grudges in my heart.
And it stayed there for a long time... A lot of people say forgiveness is easier said than done and without any hypocrisy- it is true. It is hard because forgiving requires as much humility as asking for forgiveness. It is equivalent to wiping the slate clean, it means letting down your guard and whatever pride you might have and open yourself up again towards the other party/ies. True forgiveness requires a lot from you. It requires you to let go of all the bitterness you have towards the other person, it requires understanding, compassion and humility.
And we're either bounded or set free by that choice. We could be bounded forever by grudges, bitterness and pain if we refuse to forgive or we could be free from all that. It is a choice we make.
For me- it took Jesus Christ's example of great mercy and love to move me into forgiving ( and then surrendering my life over to Him ). He changed my whole perception, He changed me. He set me free from the shackles of an unforgiving heart.
I could still look back to that one situation in my life where I was really breaking down- crying to the Lord asking for Him to avenge me for all my sufferings...my soul was in angst.
I feel mad, hurt, depressed...oppressed.
I was on the verge of giving it all up but while I was brooding with those thoughts and emotions- the Lord was ever so gently, speaking to me...in my mind and in my heart- He wants me to pray instead for that person.
I was taken aback for awhile, I asked why? He wants me to forgive. My mind was made up to just go but He wants me to stay. I wasn't imagining nor was I drunk that time but I was sure it was the Lord. A sweet, still small voice in the back of my mind- gentle yet persistent.
I gave Jesus my whole heart that afternoon and I told Him- if this is what you want me to do then I'll do it as long as you keep me close to you all the way to the end, as long as I have you with me I'll be okay. I just know I will. Then began my love affair with the Lord.
He took away all the bitterness in my heart. I felt lighter and most of all- I felt free. I am free. Burdens indeed become lighter and brighter indeed is my way... Forgiving is giving hope and change a chance- even if it may take awhile to see it, even if in our eyes they don't deserve it. For who are we to withold forgiveness ? We do learn life's lessons from our bad experiences and that is something we do not forget because it is added wisdom.
Learning from the past is valuable but bear in mind that people who has grieved us can change, so it won't hurt to give them a chance. Especially if we give it to the Lord. Friend, there is power in forgiveness. It is a door that opens up to healing- healing from all past hurts including every single person who has caused us to feel that way.
Sometimes staying angry is easier than letting it all go but it won't help us at all to stay miserable. Don't hold on to bad memories and don't re- live it over and over again in your head, it will just pull you down. Make room for second chances.
God Himself is a God of second chances. " Then Peter came unto him, and said, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but until seventy times seven. " Matthew 18: 21- 22
Calvary is the best example of it. God didn't gave up on us but He forgave all our sins- even if we don't deserve it and even if we didn't ask for it and yet He brought Himself to the cross, a meek and gentle lamb, making a way for us through his sacrifice to be able to reconcile us to Himself. In His eyes- we are perfect. Let's be merciful unto others as our Lord Jesus Christ is to us, and you won't regret it.
It's time to let go of that bondage, it's time for you to heal from past hurts and move on.