Monday, November 4, 2019

The Prison of Unforgiveness


By Andrea Merrell


The woman swiped at tears as she described her dream.

The cell was dark and dirty. Pictures hung from the bars surrounding me, all memories of my past. Terrible, hurtful memories that tormented me. I cried out for help, but no one came. I looked out the tiny window and saw the sunlight. Heard the laughter of those who were free. My heart longed for peace. I wanted my life back.

This was a reoccurring dream. She was securely locked in a prison of unforgiveness—a prison of her own making. Forgiving others for the abuse she had suffered was something she could not, would not do. The sad part is that as long as she refuses to forgive her offenders, she will remain in bondage.

I can so relate to her story. Can you? When people purposely say and do terrible things to us, we feel betrayed. It’s easy to develop a victim mentality, telling ourselves the offender doesn’t deserve our forgiveness.

But who suffers? We do. Our heart becomes hard as the painful memories continue to haunt us. We lose our peace and our joy. And the worst part? We feel as if God has abandoned us.

Jesus has a lot to say about the subject. Forgive and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37 NKJV). And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4 NLT). He even asked the Father to forgive those who beat Him and put Him on the cross (Luke 23:34). What a beautiful example.

Forgiving others is powerful. It is the key that unlocks the door of the prison cell. That’s the first step. The second is to bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you (Luke 6:28 NKJV). That’s when our peace and joy return. That’s when we know we’re truly free.

If you’re locked in a prison of unforgiveness, God is handing you the key today. You can be free in the blink of an eye.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and sakhorn38.)



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