A story is told in the bible, of a man who owed a king a large sum of money. Let’s name this man Sam. On the other hand, a servant owed Sam a small amount of money. Sam, having figured that it was too difficult for him to pay off his debt, approached the king and asked for forgiveness of his debt. The king agreed to write off the debt. Sam galloped away in joy that his debt had been forgiven. He then went over to the servant that owed him, not to forgive his debt, but demand for his money. He left him threats, saying, “If you
do not pay by such and such time, I will throw you in jail”. The servant was not in a position to pay and was thrown in jail. When the King heard about the situation with Sam whom he had just pardoned, he was angry and instead threw Sam in jail. Sam, had failed to show mercy for a small debt while, he had been shown mercy over a large debt.
The moral of this story is that we have been shown great mercy, for Christ died on the cross for our sin. And when we do not forgive others who have wronged us, w
e are like Sam who failed to forgive the small debt he had been owed.
Further, I believe that unforgiveness holds us back in life. It stunts our growth and progress. For us to prosper in life, we need a constant flow of ideas and creativity. To succeed we need a sound mind and heart. Such creativity, ideas and the peace to birth our dreams, cannot co-exist with bitterness and unforgiveness. Often we justify holding on to bitterness because we think that when we let it go, we will validate the wrong done to us. Forgiveness does not say what was done is right. Forgiveness says nevertheless, I
let it go. Besides, often we are blindsided by our own ego to believe that we are the only one wronged. Because offense is in the eye of the beholder, quite often both parties feel justified that they were wronged. Therefore, we ought to forgive and let go, not for the other person but for our own soul to have peace. Many carry hurts for many years, yet the person who caused their hurt is long gone, living his/her life, without any regard to your
hurt. As such, you are the one still suffering for the wrong done in the past. I do not believe, however, that forgiving means putting ourselves in the same position for others to use, misuse, and abuse us. We also have a responsibility to walk away from people who want to belittle, malign and harm us.
Don’t let the past mess your present and future. Don’t let an individual hold you back from being all that you were created to be. If you are in that situation of hurt and bitterness having been through something difficult, a hurt that you have carried for a short or long time, ask God for the grace to let it go. And ask God to replace the bitterness and hurt with his peace. Let this be the year when you, like Paul, will leave that which is behind you, and press on forward towards that which God has called you forward*.