I know what it’s like to hold onto unforgiveness.
But the truth is, it actually makes you far worse off than moving foreword into the freedom of forgiveness.
I remember the feeling all too well, of harboring passive aggressive thoughts, harsh feelings, frustration, shame, and an overall sense of being in a pit of hell.
It makes you want to hide your head under the covers for an entire winter, makes you walk around with a face that repels people, and it creates iron-clad gates into the entry of your heart, for the people who love you.
You’re essentially walking around in the dark, not even trying to find a light switch.
It’s crazy to think that we have all been there. Maybe not intentionally, but we have been in that place where we don’t really want to let our pride step out of the way for a moment. To step into the the freedom of forgiveness.
The truth is, pride and unforgiveness are a dangerous combination. You live in a vortex where either one won’t let you break out of a vicious cycle. It’s a combination that simply cannot live simultaneously together.
To let go of your pride requires the ability to focus completely on a future where you care more about living a life in freedom. Letting go of your pride actually results in less anxiety, less drama, stress, and anger. It requires dying to your flesh of what you actually want to do, or what the world says you should think or feel. It’s taking the high road, the narrow street. It’s choosing to live life at a higher level. A higher level of valuing what’s more important, not getting reeled into petty behavior and taking the approach of letting harsh comments, rumors, and childlike behavior run over you like water.
With pride aside, forgiveness is on a spectrum of difficulty. I hear you say, “If only you knew what that person did to me, if only you felt the betrayal, hurt” or the biggest one that we say: “That is simply unforgivable.”
Whilst I agree that there are various circumstances that swing the pendulum from the most difficult of situations to the easier ones, I do believe that there is a way to access and tap into forgiveness, even in the most extenuating and heartbreaking situations.
You’ve heard about people standing up in a court of law to forgive offenders who have done the unimaginable. Taken lives of loved ones, young ones, and set people up for whole life of devastation. But the most incredible thing is that I’ve seen cases where they publicly declare that they have forgiven the offender. Doesn’t that honestly make you stop and think for a minute? How is that possible?
What I’ve learnt about unforgiveness is that it actually prevents you from moving forward and stepping into a life of what you’re called to do. It takes up so much space in our hearts and in our heads. Space that shouldn’t be reserved for feelings and thoughts that aren’t a great investment into our lives.
We can acknowledge that humans are flawed, we come with so much baggage, and sometimes we make decisions that cost us friendships, family, and keep us from making good decisions for the trajectory of our lives.
There have been times when people have done the unforgivable, but I cared more about myself and honoring that my life has way more purpose, way more exciting things ahead, to let the poor decisions of other people weigh down my heart and mind.
Where can you practice forgiveness today? What do you need to let go of to start living a life of freedom?