What You Miss When You Don’t Forgive

This post is personal…really personal. I pray God will use it in your life. Live free, my friend.

One last wish.

The longing of a dying mother’s heart.

A wish that only one person could have satisfied. But he didn’t.

If you’ve read any of my books, you know that my childhood was a cauldron of violent arguments, alcohol-induced rage, and physically terrifying fights. As a child I saw things that a child should never see and heard things that a child should never hear. My parents were a mess. Their kids were even messier.

But God—my two favorite words in the Bible.

I met Jesus in a powerful way when I was fourteen years old, my mom followed when I was seventeen, and my mean old dad accepted Christ when I was twenty. Our family was a portrait of mercy and grace painted by the hand of an all-loving God.

A lot of forgiveness took place over the next thirty years as God reshaped and remolded once hardened hearts. But not everyone received the gift. Some held it at arms length and said, “No thanks. I’m hanging onto my hate.” Some chose to cling to unforgiveness and grasp resentment with a tight unrelenting fist. And the gift of grace was refused.

My mom did not get her final wish…to see one of her children one last time. I was sad for her, but mostly, I was sad for him. He missed the blessing of seeing the miracle of Mom’s gentleness, Mom’s humble kindness, Mom’s overflowing love for her family. He missed the preciousness of her final days.

Friend, I don’t want you to miss out on a single blessing God has for you. Not a one.  Nothing will block the flow of grace like an unforgiving heart. Unforgiveness is drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die. Forgiveness is setting the prisoner free and realizing the prisoner was you.

Once there was a little boy who had his hand caught in a valuable vase. After many failed attempts to get it free, his father decided the only solution was to smash the vase. But before the hammer came down upon the delicate porcelain, his father said, “Son, let’s try one more time. Open your hand inside the vase, and then bring your fingertips together. Now, try and slide your hand out of the opening.”

Then the boy looked up at his dad and replied, “I can’t, Daddy. If I do that, I’ll drop my penny.”

How many times do we miss out on God’s abundant blessings because we hold onto the pennies?

Resentment.

Anger.

Bitterness.

Entitlement.

Unforgiveness.

Pennies all.

Are you clinging to unforgiveness with a tightly-clenched fist that says, “By golly I am not going to forgive that person who hurt me? She/He doesn’t deserve it!”

I am struck with the words of Paul to the Colossians: “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).

Forgiveness is not for the benefit of the person who hurt you. It is for the benefit of the one doing the forgiving.

I don’t want you to miss out on a single one of God’s blessings. Let go of unforgiveness. Grab hold of grace. Be free.

Lord, thank You for forgiving me. I don’t want to miss out on any of the blessings You have for me because of a hardened heart. Today I forgive _________ for __________ once and for all. Even though I don’t feel like it, I am obeying Your command. I am letting go of this penny and coming to You with an opened hand to receive all You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and start embracing the truth of your true identity in Christ. It’s time to overcome the lies of the enemy with the promises of God.

Join me in the  Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence online Bible study. The dates are  Oct 9-Nov 26. Even though it started yesterday, it’s not too late! We’re just getting started.  Click here to sign up! 

3 Responses to What You Miss When You Don’t Forgive

  1. Shannon Rogers October 9, 2018 at 5:17 am #

    Could you please respond to me personally? I was also hurt physically and emotionally and sexually abused by various step fathers from 5 years to 12 years. My brother and I both were abused and he was 17 months younger than me. We wanted our Grandmother but were threatened if we told. So we lived a lie and me being the oldest and only girl just endured. If I told you my life no one would believe it. I look back and see God’s hand or I wouldn’t be alive. Even as an adult I sought out help at 22 yrs old in CA where my husband was stationed yet 3 different men whom I sought help only abused me more. I began to think I was like my Mother and although went to church and loved God there has been a huge hole in my heart since that time. One of these men was a Pastor whom I thought I could trust. He just kept wanting me to reenact the rape scene until I finally understood..he was enjoying me explaining exactly what happened to me. Being young, 20 years old I felt like I did as a child.. “the only sane person in and insane world.” I currently have PTSD and depression with anxiety. You wouldn’t know it b/c I fake it well as seen from my childhood. I am married and my daughters are adults now yet in my heart it’s so sad and lonely. I so wish I felt unconditionally loved. I have a Christian husband but we struggle at times b/c of our differences in being raised. He came from a very loving home and 5 brothers and sisters and loving parents. I have sought out only female Psych for many years but she has done all she can do. Does Jesus love me?

  2. Regina DeFranco October 9, 2018 at 7:17 am #

    How did you know that at just the right time in my life I would need to read this. I thought I had already forgiven these people in my life. When I read your post about letting go of unfogiveness and grabbing hold of grace I literally trembled and cried. You said this post is personal, really personal. It was as if God was using you at that very moment to speak to my heart. I never realized the bondage I was really in. This unforgiveness was choking me and I thought I had already forgiven these people in my life. I feel as though I can breathe now. I let go of all those pennies.
    Thank you for your love and obedience in reaching the heart of a broken Mom.
    I’m so excited to be doing your online Bible Study Enough.

  3. Joy Fraser October 11, 2018 at 5:47 pm #

    I signed up for you “Enough” Bible Study. I ordered the Book and you said the study material was in the back of the book. Will I still get the emails that I’ve missed? The book should be here on Monday, the 15th so I can get started. Hope to hear from you. Joy

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