WEDNESDAY, MAY 8
“It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.”
2 Samuel 16:12 (ESV)
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS: LETTING GO
Corrie Ten Boom told of not being able to forget a wrong that had been done to her. She had forgiven the person, but she kept rehashing the incident and couldn’t sleep. Finally, Corrie cried out to God for help in putting the problem to rest. “His help came in the form of a kindly Lutheran pastor,” Corrie wrote, “to whom I confessed my failure after two sleepless weeks.” “Up in the church tower,” he said, nodding out the window, “is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. But you know what. After the sexton lets go of the rope, the bell keeps on swinging. First ding, then dong. Slower and slower until there’s a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true of forgiveness. When we forgive, we take our hand off the rope. But if we’ve been tugging at our grievances for a long time, we mustn’t be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming for a while. They’re just the ding-dongs of the old bell slowing down.” “And so it proved to be. There were a few more midnight reverberations, a couple of dings when the subject came up in my conversations, but the force—which was my willingness in the matter—had gone out of them. They came less and less often and at the last stopped altogether: we can trust God not only above our emotions, but also above our thoughts.”
In 2 Samuel 16, David finds the power to not retaliate against Shimei’s attacks by releasing the situation into God’s hands. David believed that God knew everything about this situation and that God would perhaps honor David trying to do the right thing. In Deuteronomy 32:35 God says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” God always deals with wrong. Ultimately, Jesus went to the cross to pay for all the wrongs done. And if someone will repent and accept Jesus’ sacrifice in their place they can be forgiven. But if they decide not to repent and trust in Christ they will face God’s vengeance.
Pastor Mike reminded us on Sunday that forgiveness is a process. And the memories don’t necessarily go away. But like Corrie Ten Boom, if we let go and give it to God eventually the hurt and the memories lesson. Ask God to help you let go of the rope of unforgiveness and to trust His love and care for you to get you through.