“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col 3:13
A lady writes: “I found my husband with another woman. Although he begged me for forgiveness, I wanted my pound of flesh, so I filed for divorce even though our kids asked me not to. Two years later my husband was still trying to get me back, but I wanted none of it. He’d hurt me and I wanted revenge. Finally he gave up, married a young widow with two children, and rebuilt his life without me. They’re all so happy, and I’m just a lonely, miserable woman who let bitterness ruin her life.” Now there’s no question that infidelity is wrong. But without forgiveness, what’s left? There’s a point at which anger stops being a healthy emotion and becomes a driving force. Like a drug, you need larger and larger doses. Once that happens you move even further from forgiveness, because without anger you’ve no energy at all. It’s what drives hate groups and extremists. Without bitterness they’ve no reason to exist. If you take bigotry from the racist, revenge from the zealot, and chauvinism from the sexist, what’s left? “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Bitterness is fatal; it kills your soul. So how can you stop yourself from becoming bitter when you’ve been hurt? (1) By looking into the face of the person who hurt you, and seeing instead the face of the One who showed you mercy when nobody else would have given you another chance. (2) By realizing that before the day, the week, the month or the year is out, you’ll be needing mercy yourself.
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