There is a verse in Hebrews that serves as a good reminder:
Nearly everyone has been hurt by someone. Sometimes the wounds they leave can cause lasting feelings of bitterness, revenge, or even hatred.
These unhealthy feelings are stored in the heart and grow to infect the whole body. Just look at Joseph’s brothers, and their jealousy over his favor and future position. Their feelings led to strife, troubles, defilement, lying, and kidnapping. Esau hated Jacob (because of trickery, and the loss of his birthright) and planned to murder him. His bitterness led to trouble, strife, and separation. And who could forget the story of Haman in the book of Esther. He was so bitter toward Mordecai that his actions resulted in his own death!
How might these stories have been different if each one had demonstrated a forgiving spirit?
Look at the Prodigal son. After demanding his share of the inheritance, he runs off and wastes every cent of the money on wild living. When the cash runs out and a famine hits, he finds himself starving and comes to his senses. The Prodigal returns home, where his father rejoices and forgives him. Even Joseph forgave his brothers!
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, it can be hard to forgive, but the consequences for holding on to bitterness and anger can lead to your own spiritual death. Let’s pray today that God would reveal any bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts, and remove it.
You are sovereign over all the universe, and nothing escapes Your gaze. You know the hurt in my heart that has been place there by others, but Your Word clearly says that I must forgive them. I know that my forgiveness does not mean that I am saying what happened was right. I’m letting go of it for Jesus sake, and for my own. I know that unforgiveness grows a root of bitterness in my heart that will destroy my life as well as others. Thank you for Your promise of forgiveness when I forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to love my enemies and pray for them. Help me to put away all bitterness, wrath and anger. Instead, I am choosing to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. I know that with obedience comes blessing. May I let go of bitterness for my good, and for Your glory.
In Jesus Name