Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. –Colossians 3:13
When I was growing up, we had a tether ball in our backyard. It’s basically a tall metal pole with a ball about the size of a volleyball attached by a small rope to the pole. You and your opponent stand on either side and hit the ball back and forth, and the first person to get it to wrap all the way around the pole wins. The thing that makes tether ball different from other sports is that the ball never goes very far because it’s tied to the pole. The same is true of us when we hold on to resentment and unforgiveness. It is simply impossible to move forward when we refuse to forgive, because unforgiveness tethers us to our past. To clarify, forgiveness does not mean we forget how we were wronged or that we are saying what occurred was okay. No, forgiveness means we choose to let go of the resentment we carry about that event so that we can be free to enjoy our present and our future. The person who wronged us may never be a trustworthy, safe person, but when we hold on to resentment towards them, they continue to have power over our lives. Resentment and unforgiveness are unbelievably toxic; they rob us of our joy, peace, freedom…even our emotional and spiritual health. It’s important to know that choosing to release resentment may not be an event for you, but a process that takes time and requires help from friends, family, a counselor or pastor. But when we take the time to go through that process, we are investing in ourselves and the destiny God has for us. After all, we can’t move forward into our destiny when we’re tied to the past! Every time we choose to trust God and let go of those things He’s asking us to release, we are investing in His Kingdom. Trusting God enough to release something to Him isn’t always easy or comfortable, but it will always result in a blessing.
I encourage you this week to ask God to show you if you have any hidden resentment or unforgiveness you’ve been harboring, and be willing to allow Him to help you let go so you can enjoy a deeper level of freedom and peace in your life.