Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT
Hurts hurt … and sometimes mints make them worse.
For nineteen years, our relationship had been solid. She loved me, and I loved her. We birthed children together, paid bills together, bought vehicles together, took family vacations together. Did all those things families and spouses do together. Then she tired of the life we had. Other friends gave her what she wanted, and with their friendship came addictions she didn’t want me to know she had. So she covered the smell with spearmint mints. Finally, she left.
Some years later, I entered another relationship with a beautiful woman who wanted nothing more than me. But she loved candy … spearmint mints. I detested the smell. It reminded me of what I thought I had done but obviously hadn’t completely. They brought the smell of unforgiveness. Once again, I had to ask God to help me forgive … again …the one who had hurt me deeply. And I asked my wife to choose another flavor, which she gladly did.
Paul isn’t the only one who tells believers to forgive. Many commands in the Bible say to do it, and many others show it done. But nowhere do the commands or stories indicate forgiveness is easy. In fact, without God’s assistance, it’s impossible to do it right … or completely.
Forgiveness isn’t the norm. People who’ve been hurt typically seek revenge—or at the very least justice. God wants us to go against the grain.
Forgiveness isn’t easy, even if some make it look so. Releasing someone from a debt they owe us because of a wrong they’ve committed against us requires fortitude only God can give.
Forgiveness often has to be repeated. We may think we’ve mastered it, but then something … a smell … triggers anger and unpleasant emotions. So we go to God … again.
Nor does forgiveness mean I have to forget the hurt. In fact, unless I have some type of brain damage, I can’t forget. But I don’t have to act on the hurt anymore. I can let it go, as God lets my sins go. He doesn’t forget my sins, but neither does He act upon them when I allow the blood of Christ to cover them.
Unforgiveness will place you in the chains of disobedience and misery. Free whomever you need to release so you enjoy the life God’s give you.
Prayer: Father, give us the power to forgive others as You have forgiven us.
Tweetable: Whom do you need to forgive?
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