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Forgiveness is Losing

There’s a song on the radio I’ve heard from Tenth Avenue North called “Losing” and it’s all about forgiveness.

For some reason, forgiveness and the effects that unforgiveness has on our hearts and lives has been in the forefront for me lately. When we choose to live in that state of not forgiving, we are in limbo and can’t move forward. Jesus had some strong words about it. In fact, after already mentioning forgiving those who sinned against us in His model prayer for us, He reemphasizes it by saying,

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. –Matthew 6:14-15

It’s that important.

So why do we hang on to the hurts and pain?

I believe the writers of this song really hit on something. It’s because we feel like we’re losing and they’re getting off completely free. If we don’t hold them accountable (whether we ever confront them or not), how will we vindicate ourselves?

Sometimes holding on to something we know is bad feels more comfortable than letting go and having nothing. Well, that’s what the enemy would tell us anyway–”if you let go of this, you’ll have a great big void because it didn’t resolve in your favor.”

Unforgiveness is like carrying around a box of rotting fruit. You don’t want to let it go because it’s “all you’ve got.” After a while, the flies start to swarm until you finally drive away your friends and close connections.

Since you’re arms are full, you can’t hold anything else so you begin to eat of the rotten fruit and you get sicker and sicker. All the time, you’ve convinced yourself that the person who hurt you is suffering because you carry this, but even if that were true, would it matter? You’re disabling yourself in the meantime.

While you are exercising your “right” to hold a grudge, your own sins are piling up unforgiven and causing even more problems.

I love the honesty of this song. It acknowledges that it’s hard to forgive–sometimes it’s unnatural and impossible. We feel the loss, but  we can turn and ask God to give grace to help us do what’s not possible in ourselves.

Withholding forgiveness seems empowering until you live with it for a while and have to eat of the fruit. God’s way is a way of blessing and He aims for us to experience the fullness of life.

Have you had hard situations in which you had to forgive? What brought you to the place you could let it go? Do you have someone you need to forgive today?

 

10 Comments

  1. I like the rotting fruit analogy. It’s true the longer we hold onto and eat of the unforgiveness, the sicker it makes us. It’s sad to know that it might of started with someone else, but ultimately holding on to unforgiveness leads to us being the source of our own ruin. Losing or winning no longer matters, when in the end you lose everything any way. We can have grace and we can have peace; we just have to get over our own justifications to receive them. Great thoughts!
    Philip recently posted..Hodge-podgeMy Profile

    • So right, the enemy looks for any opportunity and offense is a great moment for them to make wounds deeper and permanent (until we receive healing). Thanks Philip.

  2. Well..as of now i haven’t been put in a situation where i’ve had to forgive something hard.
    I thank God for that everyday.
    But i know that one day that might change…
    and I pray that i have the strength to Forgive the way Jesus forgave me…
    Arny recently posted..LOST in Analogies: “I have no Purpose!”My Profile

    • I understand what you mean. I’ve never been through truly horrific experiences, but some of those things that hurt deeply felt like something big! In light of the cross though, we really have no reason to hold onto anything. Thanks Arny.

  3. I found it hard to forgive my father. But knowing how much I have been forgiven, I finally came to a point where I was able to forgive him. I just hope and pray that he is reconciled with Christ.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The Word of GodMy Profile

    • I’m amazed how much we can hold against our parents without even realizing it sometimes (although you may have very vivid reasons). Holy Spirit leads us through that process of forgiveness and it’s a beautiful thing. I know it’s been so healing as He led me there. Thanks Dusty.

  4. Pride is the enemy when we live it to an extreme. I carried a load full of rotting vengeance for years, I think God allowed me to carry long enough to just down right tired of it. We wear ourselves out for all the wrong reasons. When we begin to see how insignificant we are and how significant God truly is, we begin to find peace and joy in the gift of forgiveness that starts with Him… I’m with you.

    • That’s a great correlation--to hold on is at least in part because of our pride. We get stubborn because we feel we should never be treated “that way” and while that may be absolutely true, no one can claim that more than God and He chooses to forgive and bless over and over. It’s not good enough to be better than so-and-so down the block, our measure and standard is our Father. Thank God for His grace! Thank you, Floyd.

  5. I think it is so great when a few people are inspired to write about the same subject around the same time. I just wrote an article about forgiveness and posted part one of it last night, and part two tomorrow. I recently wrote using superheros as a theme, and right around the same time a few other people were inspired to use that theme as well. It seems like God is trying to get a message out, and it seems to be a lot about character. I think forgiveness is a big issue we all struggle with. You bring up a good point about us somehow thinking we are punishing the other person by being mad at them or not forgiving them. It’s a good thing God is much more forgiving then us. Thanks, Jason, I really enjoyed your post.

    • I agree. It amazes me how I can read similar posts from a variety of people. Just confirms how serious God is about something! I look forward to reading your post, Mike. Thank you.