When I hang on to hurts and refuse forgiveness the only person I’m harming is myself. If someone hurts me and walks away and never looks back it is likely that they don’t even know that I have not forgiven them. My unforgiveness will not affect that person in any way. That person moves on. I remain in chains.
I remain in bondage as I wait.
What am I waiting for? A debt owed to me. Perhaps an apology or an admission of wrongs. Perhaps some reconciliation. Perhaps to see judgment come to the person who has wronged me.
When I don’t forgive I put myself in place of judge. My unforgiveness says “You were wrong and you must pay.” As long as I stay in place of judge I will never find freedom.
As long as I believe that something is owed to me I keep myself bound to all those hurts. To all the pain. To the debt I believe is owed. My heart is chained and I have given the key to release it to the offender. I may end up waiting a lifetime and never receive the payment of the debt I believe is owed to me. And even if I do eventually receive that from the offender it wouldn’t be what is necessary to free me.
The truth is that most times that thing owed to me will never come. I may remain in my bondage forever.
So I forgive.
I forgive so I can find freedom.
I forgive so I can move on.
I forgive so I can also be forgiven.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I forgive because it is not my place to judge.
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Forgive. Do it for yourself.