by Kim Gunderson
I’ll never forgive you as long as I live!
Her shouted words revealed the depth of pain that filled her little heart. She was only nine, yet the sting of anger was evident as she and her brother argued. Declaring those words, she gave voice to the feelings festering inside her and sprung open the door for bitterness to set in.
Have you ever felt that way? So hurt and wounded that all you wanted to do was shout, I’ll never forgive you! You desire for the one who hurt you to see the magnitude of your pain, to own what they did to you. You feel a release when you declare your woundedness, those dark places that go unnoticed and ignored by another. It may feel cathartic, even empowering. But truthfully? Living that way is dangerous. Unforgiveness breeds bitterness, and bitterness is a poison to our soul.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” (Hebrews 12:15, NLT)
So what’s the antidote for the poison of bitterness? (more…)