Wisdom - the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek! Where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before. Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase Wisdom and Create a Living Legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1308 of our Trek and time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday, we will ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life, and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy. As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time where we can ‘Ask Gramps.’ Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, this is not possible. No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask dad or gramps questions about life in many areas.
We may mix it up a bit on our Friday episodes, but will strive to keep them down to earth and enjoyable. If you have any questions that you would like to ask Gramps, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
So the question for this week is:
“Hey Gramps, I have been hurt deeply by those who I love, and who are supposed to love me. I wish I could say it’s forgiven and forgotten — but it isn’t. As much as I’ve tried — all I feel is the anger and the bitterness. What wise tips can you give me to help me to let go and be free of the anger and bitterness I have.
I am very sorry that you are struggling with forgiveness and are angry and bitter. You have to realize though, that without forgiveness, bitterness is all that’s left!
Since you didn’t specify, I don’t know what is causing your pain, maybe it’s a very old wound. A parent abused you. A mate betrayed you, and over the years, all you have left is anger and bitterness.
Perhaps the wound is fresh. The friend who owes you money just drove by in a new car. The boss who hired you with promises of promotions has forgotten how to pronounce your name. And you’re hurt!
There’s a dual fire burning in your heart. It’s the fire of anger and bitterness. Although it can be very difficult, as with nearly every situation we face in this life, you do have a choice. Please understand that you are left with a decision. This decision is not based on the offending person asking you for forgiveness. Your decision is not dependent on whether the offending person is sorry for the hurt that they have caused in your life. The choice is yours. Do you forgive anyway and work on the healing of your soul, or do you get even and plan retribution? Are you going to allow your hurts to heal, or do you let your hurt turn into hate?
Forgiveness is not foolishness. Forgiveness, at its core, is choosing to see your offender with different eyes. How can recipients of God’s grace and forgiveness do anything less? Colossians 3:13 tells us, Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Dare you ask God for grace when we refuse to give it? Matthew 6:14-15 If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
This is a huge issue in Scripture because it is a huge issue to God! Jesus was tough on sinners who refused to forgive other sinners. Let me share an analogy of the damaging effects of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person you hate to die. Unforgiveness will eventually kill you and you fill up with anger and bitterness. Another analogy on the positive effect of forgiveness is, Forgiveness is setting the captive bird free and then realizing that you were the captive bird!Remember the story about the servant who has been freshly forgiven a debt of millions but who refused to forgive a significant but much smaller debt owed him by a fellow servant? His unwillingness to forgive stirred the wrath of God. Jesus makes clear his verdict on the unforgiving servant. Let me read that parable so that you will understand the importance of forgiveness in every area of our lives. Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
In the final sum, we give grace because we’ve been given grace. We have been given grace so we can freely give it. See your enemies, family and friends as God’s children and revenge as God’s job.
Let me close with one final verse. Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
That is a wrap for today’s question. Join us again next Friday for another question on our ‘Ask Gramps’ episode. Our next trek is Mediation Monday, where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of ‘Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.'If you would like to listen to any of the past 1307 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player, so each day will be downloaded to you automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and, most of all, your friend as I serve you in through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this Trek of life together, let us always:
I am Guthrie Chamberlain….reminding you to ’Keep Moving Forward,’ ‘Enjoy your Journey,' and ‘Create a Great Day…Everyday’! See you on Monday!