Unforgiveness and its conjoined-twin sister Bitterness are like magnets. Unforgiveness draws and attracts the isolated and individual iron filing events of life. Often the iron filings are simply events that are random, minor missteps, mundane or even neutral acts – just regular life being lived. But when they are pulled toward and connected with the magnet of unforgiveness/bitterness, they take on the very nature of the magnet. They add weight and mass to what was already there, spreading the bitter poison to the outer edges of life. They further influence the very perception of the person stuck in unforgiveness, drawing and redefining the actions of others to fit with a bitter outlook on life and relationships. Life becomes polarized, isolated, judgmental and sad.
Jesus provides us with a gift that is so important to the human heart He actually makes it a commandment.
….be kind, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
His love is so passionate for us He places the full weight of commandment behind the gift that keeps us enjoying freedom. He will not have His children drinking from such a bitter cup of poison. Because He Himself drank the cup for us; taking the first sip in the Garden of Gethsemane and drinking down the final dregs on the cross. The standard He holds us to? His own – we are to forgive as He forgave us – nothing less.
Forgiveness is the gift the Lord gave us, to free ourselves from the multitudes of hurts we will all experience. What extravagant love He has for us!