Now you are probably thinking either, “Yes, I want to be set free,” or “I am Free, so what are you talking about?” Author Lewis Smeades writes, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
How often have you held on to resentment, carried a grudge, or harbored ill will toward someone who has wronged you? In your defense, they may have severely hurt you and you are not about to let them, or yourself, forget it. Maybe they deserve the cold shoulder or the shattered relationship. But when you punish someone in this way, especially if there is now no contact with them, you really aren’t impacting them negatively, but yourself. If you find yourself consumed with angry thoughts about them then, in Smeades words, you are the prisoner.
Forgiveness is not letting someone off the hook but it is setting yourself free from an unhealthy focus on the other person. Holding on to bitterness can cause stress as well as emotional and physical health issues. So, I ask the question – “Do you want to be set free?” If so, think about someone today that you may need to forgive – and perhaps, be set free!