When you are offended or disappointed by others and allow the hurt to germinate in your heart, bitterness and resentment will take root. Characterized by an unforgiving spirit and generally negative, critical attitudes, bitterness and resentment are sinful and self-defeating. They will color your conscious and unconscious thoughts and actions. Allowed to fester, they will destroy and kill relationships.
Just by chance I bumped into someone this evening that hurt me deeply years ago. I had basically forgotten about the event but when I saw them it all came back in a second. I thought to myself, wow, a memory can be a terrible thing. At that point I knew my self-talk was very important. I prayed quickly in my heart and said, “Lord, I know what Your will is here, that I forgive completely, quickly and with no strings attached, and that I love this person right now by being gracious, accepting, kind, and attentive to their words as I show worth and value”. “You are Lord of my life and I choose to do Your will this moment and I trust You will give me the strength to please You”.
As I walked away after a few minutes of pleasant conversation I thought, “It feels good not to be controlled by events, circumstances, and other people’s choices. It feels good to be free of negative feelings and thoughts, it feels good to be a follower of Jesus and to choose to do what is right because that is His will and what makes Him pleased with me. I hear people say all the time how hard it is to forgive their ex or their parents or a neighbor because what they did was so hurtful. It is hard when You don’t obey Jesus and do what He says. The moment I submit to His will and say, “You are Lord,of my life and I will obey You, no matter what”. The power of God flows to commitment and our choosing to obey.