we are looking here at letting go of our past. so how do you do it?
well one thing i must do is to give up my grudges.
ephesians 4.31 (niv), get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in CHRIST, GOD forgave you.
notice it says, get rid. get rid of all bitterness. chuck it! throw it away! eliminate it! don’t hold on to resentment. if you do, it will ruin your relationships. there are few things in life that cause more damage to relationships than resentment.
now, we depend on other people to meet our needs – physical needs, financial needs, social needs, spiritual needs. and when our needs are not met, we get angry at people. “you’re not meeting my needs!” and we get resentful.
but the problem is it doesn’t work. it’s uncomfortable. when you’re resentful, it doesn’t upset the other person, it upsets you. they may be out having a great time, and you’re at home stewing and spewing saying, “i can't stand that person!” you’re the one it’s hurting. resentment never hurts the other person; it hurts you.
on top of that, it’s worthless. you can be resentful toward people who have hurt you in your past but it will never change the past. no matter how much you resent it, it will never change the past. it’s worthless. it never resolves the problem, it only makes it worse.
it’s controlling. when you say to somebody, “you make me so mad!” you are admitting your weakness. “you make me...” that means “you” can control my emotions. you have the power to control me. nobody can make you mad without your permission. you are allowing them to make you mad.
some of you have been hurt in the past – all of us have been hurt in the past – but some of you are continuing to allow people from your past to hurt you in the present even though they’re not around anymore and that’s dumb! let it go! paul says, get rid of it! get rid of bitterness.
just a thought from the front porch…