Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches



by Mike Robinson

"Holding on to an attitude of unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick."

I've seen that truth happen too many times over the years to deny its reality. When people chose not to forgive they imprison themselves in a cell called "bitterness" and they thrown away the key.

Yes, I know that some people feel justified in refusing to forgive those who have wronged them. Some people get miffed about things that are inconsequential in life. But there are others who have suffered enormous pain and heartache because of trust betrayed and confidence broken

Where the hurt has been great, it is easy to understand that forgiveness is not an option for the person betrayed. The choice not to forgive is another way of saying, "You owe me and I am going to keep you indebted to me".

While such an attitude in the face of blatant betrayal and enormous pain is understandable, it is also self-destructive. The person who is most damaged by an attitude of unforgiveness is the person who chooses not to forgive. Like that homespun wisdom says above, it's like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick.

"But you don't know what he did or what she said!"

That's true. I don't know what he did or she said. What I do know is this: when we choose not to forgive that other person, we become locked in to what he did or what she said and we become their prisoner. They probably don't know how we feel about their words or actions that have hurt us so much and, even if they did, would they really care?

Meantime, we dwell on it and mull over it. We fuss and fume and the acid of bitterness eats us up from the inside. So, who is paying for their crime against us? We are, not them.

The greatest role model we have of forgiveness that was undeserved is that of Jesus Christ. You and I will never suffer as unjustly as He did but even in the midst of His horrendous agony on the Cross, His cry was, "Father, forgive them"

His cry was as much for us as it was for those who crucified Him
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