Forgiving has to be one of the hardest things we will do in our lives. When someone that causes us great hurt or offense, it leaves this unbearable pain. This pain makes it hard to let go of what this person did to us. We hold on to this grudge. This anger. The past.
One thing I have learned from my own experience, was that I was basically wasting away my energy and time being so upset and frustrated with the person that had pretty much done me wrong. But one thing that I realized later in years, was that the pain was one thing, but the hurt from my ego was more hurtful. Then I learned that all that pain and frustration that ONE person caused that I held onto for years, became part of my present with others that had nothing to do with it. Holding on to our past reflects in our present. In our present lives. In our present relationships.
We don’t often realize this. It takes, for some like me, years to learn this. In the end I was hurting myself and no one else. I was hurt and angry with people in the past and that hurt reflected in my present life and relationships. That lack of trust caused by one person trickled onto every other person afterwards. I grew trust issues with everyone. That lack of security. I didn’t feel secure in anything I did much less any relationships with friends and my own spouse. There was the fear of abandonment I dealt with for years. That hurt stayed with me from my childhood and it took till I was an adult to realize how it was affecting my marriage.
You see, when we hold onto unforgiveness, our past, it becomes part of our present. You think you left it behind but it sits dormant in our heart and mind. The moment something goes wrong in our current relationship or with a family member or friend, immediately we react from that hurt from the past. We immediately assume the problems we are having today are from the present but many times we have brought past hurt and pain into our current situation.
We have a choice. We can live with this unforgiveness, living in the past. Or we can CHOOSE to Forgive, let go, and move forward into our present and future.
When I think of what it’s like to have been nearly left for dead, sold then spend years in captivity, I imagine a whole lot of pain and hurt. I imagine, Joseph, after having been through all this, had this unforgiveness for his brothers. But Joseph teaches us a valuable lesson about forgiveness and leaving the past behind us. Joseph could have held onto all this hurt and used it to his advantage. He could have spent all those years just simmering in a pot of unforgiveness plotting his revenge. But instead, Joseph focused on God. And in Genesis 41:52 he says, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Joseph sought God during this time of hurt and anguish. He was in solitude, away from his family but God never left his side. Because Joseph sought God, his heart was renewed and he was able to forgive and let go.
We too should take a page from his chapters and learn that we too must forgive and let go if we want to grow in our lives The moment we forgive is the moment we live.
I pray that whatever you may be holding onto today, that today you release that unforgiveness, that hurt from your past. I ask God to restore your peace and give you the strength to move forward into your present life without the hindering thoughts and hurt from the past.
psst…God Loves You
The moment we forgive is the moment we live.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32