I love listening to my online radio stations. I’m not convinced yet to spend money to get commercial free radio. I’m glad, because I get to listen to different commercials and hear about different programs and products that I might miss if I upgrade. Over the weekend I heard a Lowe’s advertisement about getting organized. In the ad there is a statement that goes something like this, “This is the year my house will be de-cluttered!” I get tickled every time because we have a utility drawer in our kitchen that is loaded with items that have nothing to do with cooking or eating.
There are other advertisements that address setting goals and ideas about how to reach the goals. Setting goals for the new year is a wonderful way to put our lives on a new path. But there are times when no matter how many goals we set, we don’t follow through because of some things that are cluttering our lives. Let’s take a few days to look at the clutter that could hinder our growth.
The first item I present is unforgiveness. I know, right? Unforgiveness is an emotion we may feel entitled to have. We have been hurt, deceived, or treated poorly by people we thought loved us. Or we have made mistakes that we revisit and uses a weapon to beat ourselves up with.
What is unforgiveness? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says it is being unable or unwilling to forgive; or having or making no allowance for error or weakness. The definitions imply that there is a choice in the matter of forgiving. I can think of a number of reasons for withholding forgiveness, but in keeping with “INSCRIBING HOPE” I want to look at why we should forgive.
Forgiveness makes me think of a clinched fist. If you close your fist and refuse to open your hands, it is very hard to receive anything. Imagine receiving a gift with closed hands. It would be very hard to open the gift. When someone hurts us we can often feel a fist close around our hearts squeezing it so tightly that we may close ourselves off to love. When we make mistakes that hurt other people, we can feel the same affect.
As I thought about this topic I was reminded of a scene on the Cosby Show from the 1980’s. Sandra and Elvin used to drive the Huxtable family crazy with arguing about everything a young couple with opposite views about gender roles could have. Finally, one day Dr. Huxtable taught Elvin to just raise his open palms to let things go.
Today, that is the advice I would give to those who are holding on to past hurts, grudges, and embarrassments. Let them go. Unclinch your fists and release that which will keep you from receiving peace and joy.
Release yourself to love again.
Release yourself to dream again.
Release yourself to move forward.
I know this post only touches the surface of some of your issues with unforgiveness. Some of you may have already discovered ways to walk in forgiveness. Reply with things you have done to overcome unforgiveness or post suggestions. There are hurting people out there that need to hear what you have to say.
If you are stuck, click on the link below to watch a short video about the science involved with forgiveness.
I also suggest reading a book or completing a forgiveness workbook. I wanted to recommend some, but when you Google books about forgiveness, there is a page full of wonderful suggestions. Here is a link to the page
Begin your journey to a fresh start with forgiveness.
“Judge not, and you will not be judge, condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37