Not strangers that you don’t know.
Not mere acquaintances that you could care less about.
No… people that you love.
People that you look up to.
People that you would do anything for.
Sometimes they will hurt you out of jealousy, out of anger, or out of their own hurt.
They may betray you in ways you never imagined.
They may just merely walk out of your life and never come back.
And from that moment on you have a very important choice to make.
A choice that will determine your future.
The choice is to be bitter and hold on to the pain of the past.
Or to forgive and move on to the hope of a better future, with or without the person that hurt you in it.
You can’t change the past and what the person did to you.
But you have the power to change your future by forgiving and moving on.
Even if that person never takes the time to apologize.
Even if that person walks away and never looks back.
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got” –Robert Brault
To hold on to bitterness is to choose to be trapped in a prison of hurt and hate that never allows you to move on.
But you have the key to unlock the prison door.
You have the power to forgive and walk away.
There’s a great man in the Bible who shows us exactly how to do it.
The funny thing is that the betrayal that took place in his life made him end up in an actual prison.
But although he was locked up in a prison cell he was not trapped in a prison cell inside his heart of bitterness, resentment, or hate.
Although he had every right to be mad at the world, to hate his brothers for selling him out of jealousy, to question God… he instead chose to take the high road.
He forgave them, even in that prison cell.
And he lived a life of free of bitterness and free of hate.
The man’s name is Joseph (in case you haven’t figured out yet).
And it was his own flesh and blood that first left him to die, then sold him into slavery.
And yet years later when they meet him face to face again for the first time Joseph tells them that he has not only forgiven them but also that what they meant for harm God used for his own good at the end (Genesis 45: 4-7).
God’s Word never says what exactly it is that Joseph did in that prison cell for all those years.
But it’s clear that he wasn’t devising a plan of how to get his brothers back for the pain they caused him.
They had taken everything away from him.
But he learned to forgive and move on.
And so can you and I.
Maybe someone you love has betrayed you like Joseph’s brothers betrayed him.
Maybe they broke your heart into a million pieces.
Maybe they took away a part of the future you had planned.
Maybe they hurt you physically, emotionally, and mentally and all you have left to show for it is terrible memories and old scars.
Maybe they never accepted you or treated you right.
Maybe they did everything they could to belittle you, to break you, and to tear you apart.
And you have every right to be bitter.
To be angry.
To want to hurt them back.
But you can choose to do something better… you can forgive them and leave them no more space in your mind and your heart.
You can choose to be free from bitterness, from resentment, from grudges, and from hate.
You can choose to take the high road and simply leave the past behind you and move on.
You can choose to forgive the unimaginable things people hurt you with by leaving it at Jesus’ feet at the cross.
By not allowing your mind to be filled with negative unwholesome thoughts.
By not dwelling on what went wrong.
God can heal your heart.
He can comfort you in your pain.
He can help you learn to forgive and move on with your life.
But not if you keep holding on.
So today… choose to let go.
Let go of the pain people caused you.
Let go of the past that is already behind you.
Let go of the bitterness that wants to reside inside of you.
Surrender it all into Christ’ hands and with His help, move on.
Move on into hope.
Just like Joseph did.
Be blessed and walk strong in Him! -Anna… ♥
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32