I was really upset with her. I don’t need to tell you the details because I want you to fill in the blanks yourself. I was really mad at _______ for ________. I’m not worried about you not having anything to put in those blanks because you’re human. We’ve all been really irked at someone for hurting our feelings, hampering our plans or a whole lot worse.
We’ve talked about Jacob in our devotion times together before, but what about poor Esau. His baby brother stole his birthright and his inheritance…that was a lot more than hurting his feelings. But let’s look back at the story from Esau’s point of view because sometimes we have to look backward in order to move forward. All those years ago, Esau was devastated to learn that Jacob had tricked their father into giving him the birthright and the blessing. Picture the scene:
Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh, my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept.
Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him,
“You will live away from the richness of the earth,
and away from the dew of the heaven above.
You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you decide to break free,
you will shake his yoke from your neck.” (27:38–40 NLT, emphasis added)
We don’t know much about what went on with Esau between the time his brother fled to Haran and the time Jacob returned home to Bethel. We do know that Esau did not like his story. But something happened in Esau’s heart over those twenty years. He went from vowing to kill his brother to embracing him when he returned (Genesis 32-33). I’m sure it was a process, but at some point, it started with a decision.
Let’s go back and look at Isaac’s words to Esau: “But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck” (v. 40 NLT emphasis added). The AMPC translation says, “break loose.” The Hebrew word translated “break loose go” is paraq, which also means deliver or rescue. When do we break loose from the yoke of unforgiveness that wraps around our necks and weighs on our shoulders? When we get restless and decide to break free. That’s when our stories will take a new direction.
I can assure you of this, the devil does not want you to break free from the weight of the past. He wants you to wear that yoke of bitterness and resentment for the rest of your life. I can envision him polishing the yoke with a fresh coat of remembrance so shiny he can see his reflection in the surface.
Paul wrote, “And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:10–11). And what are these schemes? To keep you stuck in a bad story on a dog-eared page of unforgiveness. What is God’s ultimate best? To set you free from the burden of resentment so you can write a new ending to your story.
It was Esau’s decision to forgive that set both brothers free from the hate place. Esau was free, and he set Jacob free as well. At the time of Jacob’s betrayal, I’m sure Esau thought he could never forgive the offense. But grace takes what is impossible with man and makes it possible with God.
So for you and for me, it’s time to decide. Will we let go of the anger or hang on to the offense? Will we stay mad or simmer down? Will we shine that yoke clamped around our necks or sever the clasp with the cutters of grace and break free?
Interestingly, Esau’s dad mentioned a yoke around his neck. Today, I wear a cross around my neck. It seems odd to think we could wear the yoke of unforgiveness and the cross of Christ’s forgiveness at the same time. I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be. What about you?
Heavenly Father. ________ hurt my feelings and I have been holding a grudge for long enough. Today, I’m making a decision to set myself free from the yoke of bitterness. I’ve got the key in the shape of a cross. I’ve got the power in the form of the Holy Spirit. I’m deciding, right now, today, to let the offense go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What does wearing a cross around your neck mean to you? What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? I know that they can!
When You Don’t Like Your Story, challenges us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out our difficult stories but repurpose them for good?
In fact, the worst parts of your story might just be what God uses the most. So sink deep into God’s life-changing truths. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes an in-depth Bible study for individuals and groups.
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
I feel the hurt and resentment of my daughters behaviour towards me and the rest of our family … I know it’s not good.. it’s unhealthy …. It’s not what God wants but it’s so hard to forgive and let go of those hurts … even though I know the devil is rubbing his hands with glee … please Lord help me to forgive and let go and live free again ….
I understand what you are saying! God led me to journal and detail how my feelings had been hurt. That was easy! The words really flowed. But suddenly it dawned on me that just as my daughter had hurt me, I had done those same hurtful things to my Heavenly Father. When I asked His forgiveness, I was able to forgive her.
I, too suffer because if a daughter’s apathy and mistreatment. She has our only grandchild. I have to promise not to talk about the Bible, Jesus, God. She wields the baby like a weapon. When I went through Simple Seminary online, she was critical of my belief in God’s Word. On and on.
I pray for both of us, Caroline. God holds the key and we must soldier on.
Pray for her heart without saying a word to her.
Letting go of the yoke of unforgiveness and holding on to grace in my marriage
Thank you Sharon, for speaking right to my heart. There has been division in our family between my Sister Jan and I that is now, also causing division between my Niece Layne and I over my Parents inheritance to me. My Sister is on her second marriage, cheating on both Husbands, having a lot of money and for me taking care of my Parents, they wanted to make sure I was taken care of, divorced now for 32 years, longing to be married to Tom. Tired of being alone. Feeling like I’m wearing an albatross to the past and what has happened.
I would love to be set free from the hurt of the past and have prayed your prayer.
Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you Sharon.
Please pray for me. My Niece Layne lives 20 minutes away from me and has not allowed me to see Blake now 6 this past Sunday or Lana 3 since before Christmas with excuses someone’s sick since then. Talked to her one week ago, thought she’s was saved one month ago after praying for her in my Bible Study and no response to the cards and gifts I sent.
I had a moment last week of sobbing non stop and I noticed that I had been coping yet holding on to so much anger towards someone close to me. I let myself feel and let it all our and spoke to God honestly. I felt a million times lighter after that. I had a yoke on my neck that I was not aware was there but it was extremely heavy. Thank you for this. It’s a reminder that we always have to be connected to God and He will release us.
Sharon, thank you. I have been holding a grudge and unfortunately I exploded and I hurt my boyfriend with ugly words. I don’t know what to do except beg for his forgiveness. Now the tables turned. I hurt him and now he has a grudge against me. I don’t know what to do. He hasn’t emailed me and he blocked me on his messenger and Facebook. I’ve emailed him and he told me that he was really hurt. It’s been a week and I’ve been crying all week. His best friend wife is trying to get a hold of him and talk to him for me. I really feel bad. Please pray for me.
I needed this today!
By God’s Grace I made the choice yesterday to begin praying for a Pastor who snubbed me.
This reinforces God’s Command to live our enemies and Blesss those who hurt us.
By His Grace we can obey and be set Free!! ✝️🙏☺️♥️
This is so good. And can be applied to so many yokes. For me, one of my biggest was self pity.
Cannot wait to read the book.
I let go of an impossible and ungodly love. Walked away from it. But still have it in my heart and in my mind. I want to stop remembering. I want to stop the need of him.
Thank you so much Sharon, you spoke straight to me. I’ve been burdened with sadness and hurt in my home. I will shake it off! It’s not easy at all but will consciously allow Gods grace to flow through me.
Just what I needed to hear. I’m holding on to a lot of grudges! Thank you Sharon!
There is also the yoke of being in relationships with toxic family members. You forgive and forget countless times, but because they can’t quit being dysfunctional, they keep braking open the wounds. Your brokenness can not heal under these circumstances. No matter how many times you forgive, the abuse won’t stop. After 67 years of being the daughter of a Narcissistic mother and the family scapegoat, I have finally realized I must break this yoke of constant abuse and walk away for good.
I discovered a year ago that my husband (soon to be ex) was having an affair for 4.5 year with a married woman too. He had videos on both of them in the hotel room and many other disgusting pictures and videos. It has been a real trauma and I am struggling so much to let go. I pray, I beg to God to help me to heal and stop those images coming to my mind, I am so angry and hurt, the pain is unbearable sometimes. I want to forgive, I need to forgive, I don’t want to be in pain and anger for the rest of my life. Please pray for me, pray for this trauma to heal. I decide today, right now that I forgive them.
Thank you! I brought the resentment I’ve been holding to the Lord and will walk free🌺 and I pray for grace for those who express their struggles.
Great article!! I always enjoy your writings! May i ask what Bible version you use? I really liked the wording in the texts shared today. Thank you for your ministry!
Thank you Sharon. A gift from the Holy Spirit this morning in the form of your devotion. My husband had an affair with a much younger woman that I treated and loved as my daughter. That betrayal was devastating filled with anger and bitterness. But Isaac’s broke the chains of
Satan just now. Bless you and Praise the Lord!!
“Will we shine that yoke clamped around our necks or sever the clasp with the cutters of grace and break free?” My visual of these cutters are the big wire cutters my husband used on the razor wire around our house. (We live in Mexico). They took some strength to initially start the cut, but once started, they cleaning cut that horrible wire. The wire had to be removed from the wall and thrown away, out of sight. So it was with my bitterness and anger from something that happened 2 years ago, almost to the day. 😢 I asked the Holy Spirit to help me cut free from that bitterness and immediately felt His warm comfort. Now to dispose of that razor wire of bitterness and not take it back. 🙏
I’m having such a terrible time with my daughter’s boyfriend. He has caused such a rift between the two of us and I can’t stand to even see him. I hide when he comes around to avoid him. She’s so young (20) and she says she’ll probably end up marrying him. I know that things can change, and I certainly hope they do. That she moves on.
Thank you for this reminder! I have had a hard time with my husband who has been hurtful with his words lately. I was getting fed up with it and retreated and was beginning to put up defensive walls to shield me from the hurt. I woke up today convinced to just forgive, show grace and love, and move forward. This devotion helped me do that.