One of my favorite quotes comes from one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamont. She said, “…not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
As Christians, we know that Jesus expects us to forgive. How many times do I have to forgive them, Jesus? Like, is seven times enough?
“Not seven, but seventy times seven!”
Basically, Jesus was saying there’s no end to this. Which sometimes, can be quite unfortunate news, right?
Haven’t we all at one time or another withheld forgiveness or held onto a grudge for a bit?
We know holding onto those feelings isn’t the right thing to do, but did you know it can be a harmful thing to do? Studies have shown that holding on to anger doesn’t start and stop with that one relationship. It infiltrates all other areas and relationships in our lives whether we are conscious of it or not. Withholding forgiveness can also augment feelings of anxiety and depression and a host of other mental health issues.
So, we know we should forgive, sometimes we have even tried to forgive but it’s not easy. Would you agree?
Forgiveness is a topic that comes up in so many conversations that I have with all kinds of people. One thing that seems consistent across the board, however, is that there are lots of misconceptions about forgiveness and even some unhealthy ideas about next steps we take after forgiving someone. In the spirit of February’s focus on love, we’ll be talking about forgiveness all month long in our next sermon series. I hope you’ll join in as we learn more about God’s ideas on forgiveness and some healthy ways we can move forward.
Wouldn’t this also be a great time to invite someone to worship?! (wink, wink)
Peace and Grace,