Years went by. Children grew up.
Nary a word passed between mother and son.
She could hardly recall the original argument. She hardly knew her grandchildren. Anger became a deep sadness. Then, a life-sapping bitterness filled her soul.
Mount Bitterness loomed so large that it cast a shadow over her entire life. But my friend has lived in the shadow so long that she does not even realize that the sun is obscured.
Both my friend and her son describe themselves as people of faith! How can a person love the Lord but oppose one of His own? The lack of forgiveness takes on a tragic life all it’s own.
Everyone has been hurt by someone else’s actions or words. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes not. Regardless, the pain is real. How then do we love one another when we inflict and receive so much heartache?
Scripture helps us navigate through the hurt. It has much to say about forgiveness. The Bible mentions “forgive” or some form of the word over 140 times. Jesus tells us to forgive one another not seven but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22).
Above all, we are followers of the Almighty God who offers forgiveness to all who call on His name. (1 John 1:9) Through His abundant love, we find grace and mercy in His forgiveness. As recipients of His grace, we must extend the same to one another.
The Lord holds us to this high standard of grace. Truly, we must…
Choose to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22)
Give up the right to get even (Romans 12:19)
Repay evil with good (Romans 12:21)
The Choice is Yours
Sadly, my friend and her son remain unreconciled. Neither is willing to accept or resign from their place of pride. In addition to the original series of misunderstandings and accusations, now a mountain of time and regrets of the years lost reside with both of them. The power of un-forgiveness continues to consume my friend’s heart.
We must chose a different path.
Practical Tips and Tools
Do you need to ask for someone’s forgiveness? Have you injured someone? Before another day passes, pray for the opportunity to resolve the matter.
Has someone hurt you? Sometimes the “offender” is not aware of the wound he or she has inflicted. Pray for the strength to go to him/her and to tell what happened. Solve the conflict and seek reconciliation.