I Think It’s About …

(This blog was originally published by Dan Leadbetter on September 28 , 2015)

“I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter … I think it’s about  … forgiveness. Forgiveness.  Even if, even if,  you don’t love me anymore. ” ~ Don Henley

I was listening to that song the other day and it got me thinking about the people in my life that I had forgiven … both that are no longer alive, and those that are still among us. As the song played, I thought back on all the years I held on to forgiveness like a favorite blanket or pair of tennis shoes. I remembered how good (read that powerful) I felt holding on that unseen force of judgment and condemnation and holding it over them like some self-righteous demi-god. I remember especially holding on to all the “offenses” I could bring to mind about my Ex. All the “things she did”  to me, during and even after our marriage ended. I remember changing her name to SATAN in my cell phone, as a reminder to not answer when she called. Yeah, I felt a smug satisfaction.

After a few years, I started noticing just how much energy I was using every time I thought of her or when a mutual friend would bring up her name. You know what I’m talking about; that slow burn knot in the pit of your stomach that eventually works its way up to your shoulders and neck, and ends up spiking your blood pressure and making you angry. Yeah, I had that going for me. I remember very clearly the day I finally released all of the anger, frustration, and just forgave her.  I’ve gotta tell you, it was like an angry goat was taken off my shoulders. I felt a freedom that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

Now for full disclosure, it’s not a “one and done.”  I still find myself in a place of remembering things, feeling the anger, and then remembering to forgive … again. And God, in His mercy, is quick to remind me just how many of my sins He’s forgiven … even the ones I’ve picked back up after saying I’d never “do that” again … like sitting in judgment of those who’ve “offended” me.

My prayer for you this week is that you let it go … let go of the all the bitterness, anger, rage, judgments, and offense you’ve been hanging on to for lo, these many years. People, there’s power in the blood, and He’s quick to forgive, so maybe it’s a good idea that we are too.