Lewis Smedes says, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you.”
The power of forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. The willing heart to pardon somebody for his or her wrongdoings irrespective of the pains or hurts attached to the acts whether it is deliberate or not. It is an open heart to let it go despite emotional or physical harm suffered as a result of the acts. No matter the depth of physical, mental, emotional or moral impairment suffered as a result of someone’s wrongdoing, God still wants us to forgive and let it go. The burden of unforgiveness is heavy to carry. It is a threat to a joyful and peaceful life.
A teacher once told his class students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. The lesson was that for everyone they refused to forgive, he told them to choose a potato, write on it the name of the offender and date, then put it in the plastic bag. After some days, the bags were already filled up. He then told them to carry the bags with them everywhere they go for just one week. The hassle of each student lugging the bag around made it so clear that indeed, he or she was carrying unnecessary HEAVY LOAD. After a while, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a foul smell. The teacher then told the class that the rotten potato bag was a clear picture of the price we pay for keeping our pain and carrying every worry done to us in our hearts. When you are offended and allow the hurt to germinate in your heart, bitterness and resentment will be deeply rooted in your heart and then you will be overwhelmed with unforgiving spirit.
The power of forgiveness is the power you always have over the person who hurts you. If you do not forgive, you will definitely do yourself more harm. Lewis Smedes says, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you.” George Herbert told his son: “He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” Inasmuch we all ask God to forgive us for all of our wrongdoings which are much weightier, we must have open heart to forgive those who offend us in life. Set yourself free from self-inflict prison of unforgiveness.