The "F" Word
Some people use a vulgar term that we refer to as the “F word.” It’s a most profane word that violates the people it’s directed toward and degrades the people who say it. But God has an “F word” that has the opposite effect. God’s “F word” builds us up and clears the ugly, disgusting, vulgar stuff out of our lives. His word is “forgiveness.”
Forgiveness allows you to live a life that’s free. It makes you able to enjoy relationships in every situation…even when things don’t go like you think they should.
People that won’t forgive can’t experience this freedom because they can’t let things go. In the end, they hurt themselves and everyone around them.
Not long ago a friend told me about a crazy incident that’s a perfect example. He was at a convenience store, putting gas into his car, when a guy with a Doberman walked up and tied the dog to an outside bench. The dog’s owner then went inside.
A few seconds later something startled the dog and he took off on a mad dash, running directly for the busy street. You’re probably thinking that the leash would keep the dog from going too far. That’s what I thought. But the bench wasn’t fastened to the ground!
The dog rushed into traffic, dragging the bench with him. That’s when things got really wild. Drivers slammed their brakes to avoid collision. The sound of squealing their tires was everywhere.
The scared dog didn’t know where to turn. It threw the bench against an SUV. BAM! Then it tossed the bench into a nearby Volkswagen. BAM again!
My friend couldn’t believe what he was seeing!
When we refuse to forgive, we become like that Doberman. We’re tied to anger, resentment, and bitterness…all because we haven’t forgiven people who “did us wrong.”
Dragging stuff like this through life causes serious collateral damage in our relationships. Our "bench" crashes into everyone who’s close by. Then we wonder why no one wants anything to do with us.
Unforgiveness makes it hard to trust anyone. It causes us to constantly look over our shoulder, and to talk badly about others. It’s a miserable way to live.
When we’re wronged…when things go badly…we naturally respond by defending our position. We’re really good at justifying our anger, resentment and bitterness.
But Jesus says there’s a better way, one that preserves relationships and sets you free.
His way is to forgive.
God has forgiven you for a mountain of wrong things. It’s your turn. Extend the forgiveness you received to people who have hurt you.
No, forgiveness is not natural…but what did you expect? God is supernatural, and forgiveness is his supernatural way of putting things back in order. It unleashes you from the people and things of your past. It frees you to love again. It restores peace, and allows you to unlock the potential God put inside of you.
But before any of this can happen, you have to forgive.
Give as freely as you have received!
– Matthew 10:8 (TLB)