Having rooms and wardrobes full of stuff may be burdensome. It may drag you down to live amongst unwieldy clutter. But none of our hoarding addictions compare to the heavy weights we choose to carry on the inside. This internal junk comes in many forms, but I believe that there is one kind of soul-clutter that drags us all down if we do not tackle it head on.
There is not one person who does not have abundant opportunity to accumulate grievances.
Jesus said as clear as day, “offences will come.”
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come:” (Luke 17:1 KJV)
Now there’s a Bible promise I don’t see too many people claiming. Truth be told, we don’t need to. Offences and opportunities to be hurt will come whether we claim then of not.
Thing is, the temptation to justifiably hoard that hurt, is a very present danger. Internalising hurt and holding unforgiveness tethers us to the past. It drives a stake in the ground at the point of offence and ties itself to that stake vowing never to let go.
Note that we tie ourselves, not the person we hold unforgiveness against.
The unforgiveness dynamic is an interesting one as it plays out in life. We may not even be aware of it if we do not intentionally search our hearts. I think this is why Jesus taught that we must consider the state of our heart with respect to unforgiveness every time we come to pray.
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:24–26 KJV)
My hope is that you pray often. If so, you should be forgiving often and keeping a clean slate.
I have noticed in my own life, and others, that unforgiveness is is more like a bungy cord than a chain. It stretches, but only so far. We get just so far in our relationships. Just so far in our destiny, ministry or business and then its like the over stretched cord that tugs us back to our hoard of hurt. How often have I undermined or sabotaged my own progress because I am tied to a stake driven in the ground of my past?
It is impossible to truly step into your future if you remain gripped by your past.
It may be parents, siblings, friends or enemies. It may be abuse in word, body or sexuality. It could be abandonment or betrayal. The list of possible offences is virtually endless. And we all know that such things are not easy to let go of at times. No one said it would be easy.
The fact is though, it is easier to live life free of the clutter of unforgiveness that clogs our emotional and spiritual arteries and prevents life and love flowing freely. In forgiving others we do not do them a favour, we do ourselves a favour.
I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to work within you to highlight any areas that you might be harbouring offence, and intentionally and deliberately cut that cord. Ask Him plainly, “Is there anyone I am holding unforgiveness toward?” And when He highlights them to you, ask what point in time the stake was driven into the ground? The more specific you can be the better.
Then, close your eyes, and open the eyes of your spirit. See that cord that ties you that hurt, and take a pair of Holy Ghost scissors and snip yourself free. Allow God to be the one to deal justly with your offender, knowing that you yourself need just as much mercy as they do.
And walk on.
Free to step into your future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity…” (Jeremiah 29:11–14 NIV)
Simplifying is so much more than reorganising and sweeping dirt below the carpet. As you head for your destination, your destiny, refuse to carry hurtful cargo any longer. Jettison your offences and sail onward to new horizons with a lighter load, and a hopeful heart.