Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4: 31 – 32
This morning, I opened up the windows and let the fresh air in as I cleaned our house – for hours, in a way I haven’t done in quite awhile! I have been putting it off for too long! But isn’t it the best feeling after it’s done, and we know that everything is fresher and cleaner?
Wouldn’t it be even better if we could “clean out” our minds, hearts, and souls and just get rid of all the clutter, the resentment, bitterness, sadness, and anger that we’ve been carrying around for years? Can you imagine the freedom we would feel, just letting all those feelings go, knowing they’re not a part of our lives anymore!
We all have our “baggage” – things left over from our childhood, past relationships, betrayal by people we trusted, or just issues we can’t seem to get past. They’re difficult to forget, and our anger or hurt feelings may be perfectly justified, but harboring them keeps us from living lives filled with peace and contentment. Life is too short. How much time and energy we waste carrying these feelings around and often, we don’t even realize what a burden they really are – to us and the people around us.
If we could only let them go. How much joy and peace we miss by “holding a grudge” and keeping those feelings of ill will in our hearts.
Scripture tells us to get rid of them – all of them – and to have a forgiving heart. God wants more for our lives than for our hearts to be filled with such burdens. He wants us to make the decision to let them go and with His help, we can. And once we do, letting go means never looking back and picking them up again. It means going forward, forgiving, forgetting, and depending on God’s love and grace to help us show the kindness and compassion to others that He shows us. May we have a heart of grace to forgive “as in Christ, God forgave us.”
Dear God, thank you for your love and for your forgiving grace. Give us the strength to let go of any grievances and resentments that we might have. Fill our hearts with mercy, compassion, and love for each other. Amen