Hello everyone! For some, today’s topic may be touchy. I have talked to people recently who are struggling with forgiveness. I have struggled with it at times. It’s not always easy to do and there will be many times you have no closure or solution to the wrong done to you when you do forgive. Both forgiveness and bitterness are a choice, yet they yield very different consequences for you as a human being. Keep reading.
I’ll start with bitterness, the least desirable of the two.
Bitterness is the end result of not forgiving a person for a wrong against you. Bitterness is not just hatred or hard feelings toward one person – bitterness poisons our hearts and seeps into all of our relationships. Bitterness changes our thinking and our outlook. A bitter person will look for the worst and the negative in everything. They have lost all of their joy and happiness for a bitter person is usually very short lived. Bitterness can cause many physical problems as well such as high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, other digestive problems, physical heart issues, and even cancer. If you don’t believe me, google health problems, bitterness and prolonged anger. Bitterness is like drinking poison hoping it will harm the person who wronged us but in reality it only harms our hearts and our bodies. Bitterness can eat you up from the inside out – literally.
What about forgiveness? How is it so different? What makes it better? I know some of you reading this may be asking these questions because you have been wronged and that wrong was something very awful and tragic. It has cut you to your core and it has stripped away at your very being. You don’t know if you can ever forgive that person. Stay with me.
I’ll start with what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting what a person did to us – if we forget we may walk back into the exact same situation with a different person. Forgiveness is not condoning their actions toward us or finding those actions acceptable. Forgiveness is not saying wrong is right. Forgiveness is not staying with a person who is harming you or continuing to do things for a person that harms you. Forgiveness is letting go of that person – letting go regardless of whether they ever apologize, see they are hurting you, or make it right. When we forgive, we refuse to allow a person to control us from a distance. When we don’t forgive, we are allowing them to control us. Forgiveness refuses to let the actions or lack of action from another person determine how we live the rest of our life. Forgiveness opens the door for Jesus to come in and heal our hearts. Forgiveness keeps us from negativity and negative outlooks on life. Forgiveness allows us to love once again. Forgiveness frees us of all the physical manifestations that come with enduring anger and bitterness. Forgiveness, ladies and gentlemen, is for you – not for the one who wronged you. Forgiveness is the poison antidote for bitterness.
Here’s a thought – Jesus forgave all of us on the cross over 2000 years ago, no matter what we have or have not done. He was executed as an innocent man. He died for the sins of the world and forgave the entire world – no matter the sin. If He can do that for all of us, we can forgive too – for the sake of our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. When we freely receive His forgiveness, we can forgive others and ourselves.
This all comes down to one question; which life do you want? Do you want a bitter life or do you want a life filled with forgiveness? I want a life full of forgiveness! Life is too short to live bitter and broken. I want to live with joy, peace and happiness. I want to be free of people who have wronged me – no one will control me from afar. I want to love with everything in me! I want to forgive because I have been forgiven!
What do you choose today? With much love, Elizabeth