Unforgiveness: Where the rubber meets the road.
The home I grew up in sat about a mile away from a paved road, which meant muddy roads when it rained. I drove an old ‘85 white, ford pickup. It had 4-wheel drive, and if I’m remembering correctly, I had to get out of the truck and do "something" to the tires to put them into 4-wheel drive. But since I didn’t really know what I was doing, I never knew if I was about to head down the muddy road with a little extra UMPH or not. Ha!
I used to get SO nervous every time I’d start down the road after it had rained, and any little bit of sliding around on the road would cause me to tense up. I was so afraid I would get stuck or slide off in the ditch. I just hated that mile stretch of dirt road when it rained. Not that I had to deal with muddy roads too often. I did grow up in the Texas Panhandle. :)
I think unforgivness is like a muddy road. It’s hard to navigate. When someone has hurt you or betrayed you, it’s messy and there’s just no easy way around it. It’s so easy to get stuck in those feelings of anger and resentment and replay those memories over and over again, just like tires spinning out in a rut.
I’m reading through Priscilla Shirer’s book Awaken, and today’s devotional was on unforgiveness. Her wrap up question was, “What valuable things has unforgiveness taught you? What has it held you back from experiencing, from being?”
Interested in purchasing this 90 day devotional by Priscilla Shirer? Click here! (This post contains an affiliate link, which provides me with a small compensation when you purchase your book through my link. Thank you so much for supporting my small business!)
This got me thinking. I’ve never really looked at unforgiveness this way. We all know that God commands us to forgive just as He has forgiven us, but I’ve never thought about what all that unforgiveness bottled up inside was keeping me FROM. It makes sense though doesn’t it? God wants what’s best for us, and His commandments are meant for our good. He knows the damage unforgiveness can do to our hearts and our lives, so He calls us to forgive.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 | NIV
Looking back, I know unforgiveness has robbed me of a lot of TIME. Time I spent replaying the past and reliving feelings of hurt and disappointment. It’s kept me stuck. It’s kept me from moving forward and growing into God’s calling on my life. And isn’t time such a precious gift? I hate to think of the time I’ve wasted wallowing around in bitterness and resentment.
I know forgiveness is hard. Sometimes it’s something that you lay at the feet of Jesus for weeks, months, and even years before you know in your heart of hearts, you’ve truly forgiven your offender. It’s a flat out miracle when we can truly forgive someone whose hurt us so badly. Can you look back at a time in your life where you forgave someone that you NEVER thought you would be able to? That’s when you can say, “Only by the grace of God!”
I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit working within me, giving me a heart like Jesus, to forgive others as God has forgiven me. Are you stuck in a rut of unforgiveness? Let’s kick it into 4-wheel drive and get outta there, friends! God has new roads with beautiful scenery laid out for us.
Rooted in the love of Jesus,
P.S. If you're looking for a prayer on forgiveness, you might be interested in this one!
P.P.S. I would just love to keep in touch with you and get to know you better! If you would love that too, click the button below!