“We achieve inner health only through forgiveness –
the forgiveness not only of others, but also of ourselves”
Joshua Loth Liebman
On our most recent Healing Thoughts Radio show, Pastor Steve and I spent the entire show talking about the importance of forgiveness. Over the weekend the word forgiveness came up a couple times as well. Whenever, a topic keeps popping up like that I feel like God is bringing it to my attention for a reason.
One of the quotes we used from the radio show was this one from Canon Jim Holbeck, “To choose not to forgive causes us to be in bondage to those who have hurt us.” I don’t know about you, but when I look at unforgiveness in that light it makes me want to forgive as fast as possible. The last person I want to be in bondage to is the one who hurt me.
As a teenager, I dated a young man who hurt me deeply. I trusted him because I truly thought he loved me. I discovered that he had never deserved my trust. My hurt at his actions quickly turned to a deep root of anger. The longer I let that anger fester in my gut the more bitter I became. In fact, I swore to him that I would never forgive him for what he’d done.
That bitter root of anger became a destructive force in all of my relationships with men. I carried the baggage of my unforgiveness into every new relationship. Because of my past hurt I took the stance that every man was a cheater. I figured that if I walked into the relationship knowing that then I would have the upper hand. Unfortunately, my angry behavior coupled with constant accusations drove many of my boyfriends away. One of them even said, “I had never even thought about cheating on you until you kept insisting that I was cheating on you!”
Of course, a majority of my boyfriends ended up leaving me sooner or later because the constant nagging became overwhelming to them. Every time one of them left I remembered the young man who had made me the way I was towards man. I would get angry at him all over again. It was all his fault that I couldn’t maintain a relationship. I could almost feel the bitterness boiling in my gut at the mere thought of him. Instead of time healing my wound that bitter root of anger was making the wound larger.
Whenever I entered into a new relationship, I thought of that young man knowing in my gut that – no matter whom I was with – the relationship was going to be doomed. I was in bondage to that young man in every relationship I had with a man. He still ruled how I thought about men, he ruled how I would act in relationships, and he ruled how I destroyed those relationships. He had power over me even though I hadn’t seen him in years.
It wasn’t until I came to the Glennon House for inner healing that I realized that unless I forgave him I would never be free of him. As, I worked on forgiving this young man I began to realize that I also needed to forgive myself for the way I let him have continued control over my life. And I also had to forgive myself for my destructive behavior in my other relationships.
We all have areas of unforgiveness in our lives, sometimes they are people and sometimes they are circumstances. As long as we allow that unforgiveness to fester inside of us we will be in bondage to that person/circumstance. If you would like to be set free to walk in a life of forgiveness I encourage you to visit the Glennon House for inner healing prayer.
Photo Credit: sharinggodsgrace.org