Resentment is a leaky boat. It may stay afloat for a while but it is destined to sink into the raging sea of negativity.
Forgiveness is a bucket. While it cannot keep the unforgiving waters from seeping in, it offers a way to bail out that which threatens to otherwise swamp us.
Forgiveness is not always easy. It is often undeserved and given to those with unrepentant hearts. We are the object of many hurts in this world but we are the cause of many as well. While resentment appears to give us a mechanism by which we can protect self, we are deceived by its charms. It leads to guardedness, skepticism, cynicism and suspicion.
What seems to offer us protection in fact leaves us sinking….
Jesus instructs us to forgive. Clearly He understands the consequences of the alternative. He leads through His own example. Throughout His life He forgave others of their trespasses. Even as He hung on a cross dying a death orchestrated by His enemies He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!”
This was a demonstration, not only of forgiveness, but of intercession. He did not instruct us to forgive without giving us the ability to do so. He gave us the grace we would need to forgive even the offenses that are seemingly unforgivable.
As children of the Most High we are given the opportunity to surrender resentment and to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The alternative is simply not sustainable.
Give me perspective and help me to view my situations through Your eyes rather than my own.
Help me to live in a way that honors the second directive Jesus gave me, to love my neighbors as I do myself.
Remind me of Your forgiveness extended to me through the precious blood of Your Son. Yes, LORD, give me perspective.
Teach me to see what You see. Teach me to forgive as You have forgiven. Transform me from the inside out.
I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
~ Mitch Salmon