Sunday, June 14, 2009


We had a guest speaker this week at church, Debbie French. Debbie is part of our church family. Her husband Steve is one of the church elders. Whenever Debbie speaks I am always listening with both ears and all of my heart. She is a simple yet elegant woman who has her heart and life centered securely on Christ. I could listen to her for hours. She said a lot of powerful things but the one that stuck in my mind the most was on unforgiveness she said, "its like you drinking a bottle of poison and then expecting the other person to die". Wow! Let that soak into your mind and heart just for a minute.

Forgiveness is a powerful word. It is also a simple but yet complex word. It can be easy to say or it can be very hard to say. It can be easy to accept or it can be very challenging to accept.

A few years ago the director at the school that I work at was talking about classroom management and discipline. As I was sharing about a particular situation with two children she told me that it was important that the one who offended asks forgiveness when they understand and are ready but more importantly the one who was offended is not encouraged to say "its ok", but instead simply say, "I forgive you". It took me a while to fully understand and accept this because for my entire life I have been unofficially trained to accept and say "its ok" when someone did something to offend or hurt me. Its not "ok". There is a difference in it being ok and that of forgiving someone. Forgiving someone is not saying that whatever was done or said was "ok" a.k.a acceptable. Saying its ok is like giving permission but by saying I forgive you, that is saying, yes it hurt and it was not ok, but I will release the pain, hurt, disappointment, etc and move forward (in other words I wont drink the poison).

I wish that forgiveness came with an eraser but it doesn't. Sometimes you may have to work a little harder or face something you don't want to, but in the big picture of life when you forgive you are drinking in life and refreshment to your soul not the big bottle of poison that comes attached with unforgiveness. Forgiveness is not offering a free pass to hurt others. Forgiveness is actually a gift to yourself. Freedom to let it go. Unforgiveness holds you in bondage to that person. Somethings are easier to forgive than others. Deep wounds, physical wounds and emotional wounds do hurt and forgiveness doesn't always ease the pain right away but it does help you move forward towards healing. It keeps you from being in bondage to that person.
If we can remember that unforgiveness is like drinking poison while we wait for the other person to die, then maybe just maybe, that will move us towards forgiveness and that will lift the heaviness from our shoulders and our heart. Remember its one day at a time. One moment at a time and as always...there is hope! Make the choice to forgive today.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Funny, I wrote about fear:


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