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The Well of Unforgiveness (Part 5)
Series: Journey to the Well of Life
Sheila Wise Rowe
The nobles send servants to get water, but all the wells are dry. The servants return with empty pitchers, confused and desperate, covering their heads in grief. (Jeremiah 14:3, NLT)
We have examined some of the ways that shame, temptation and addiction has affected our lives. The impact of these will continue if we try to drink water from The Well of Unforgiveness—it’s an empty well. Yet we believe the lie that somehow we will find water there which will ease our anguish. We continue to hold onto pain, anger, and unforgiveness towards ourselves or others, just like the servants in Jeremiah 14, we will only be left empty, confused, desperate, addicted and holding onto unprocessed grief. When we release unforgiveness we allow the Lord to free us and fully heal our wounds.
Although Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:32 to “be kind to one another, tender heartedly forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” there are few who can say that forgiveness comes easily, particularly when we have been deeply hurt.
James 3:9 states, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” We may struggle to forgive for a myriad of reasons. One reason is the lie that says forgiveness costs too much, and is too painful. We may also tell ourselves that if we forgive there’s nothing that we will receive and that all we will have done is to let that person off the hook. This is not what true forgiveness is. When we forgive we are not saying that what they did to us was okay. We are not saying that what they did to us they can do again. Nor is it a quick dismissal of what happened.
As Claudia Black says, “Forgiving is not forgetting, it is remembering and letting go.”
Even though we know what the word of God says there may be inside of us is a deep well of pain that leaves us feeling bitter, sad or angry. At times we can’t contain our feelings or restrain our behavior to fully walk out forgiveness. This is due partly because we don’t really understand the impact that our unforgiveness has upon us, nor do we understand the process of forgiveness. Some of us may find it difficult to forgive or we have diminished the significance of the wound so that the unforgiveness has become like an old friend.
One meaning of the Greek word for forgiveness is “to release from one’s grasp.” There are people who've wounded us and it is as if we have grasped hold of them by the scruff of the neck and we are saying, “I will not let you go until you have paid for what you have done.” Some of us have been walking around for years figuratively holding tightly to a parent, friend, old lover, or enemy. We ...
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