Dr Smith a Seminary Professor who was teaching on the high cost of being unwilling to forgive, asked each of his students to bring a sack of potatoes to class. and for each person they refused to forgive, they had to select a potato and write on it the person’s name that had hurt them and caused them pain.
Then for a month they each had to carry the sack of potatoes with them everywhere they went, even to bed.
The Students were eager not to miss anyone who they felt deserved to be in the sack, some sacks were very heavy, but after a while they all became uncomfortable to carry and the potatoes started to sprout and then rot and stink…
One by one the Students lightened the load till no potatoes were left and they then realized that carrying around bitterness and resentment was also a heavy load much more so then the potatoes and the smell that they emitted was not very pleasant… They needed to be washed clean.
We can’t receive forgiveness without forgiving others. If we are not willing to do this and we hold onto our stinking bitterness and resentment we pollute ourselves and others and also cut ourselves off from fellowship with God.
Those who have hurt us also need to ask for our forgiveness but even before they do this we have to forgive them just as our Heavenly Father was willing to forgive us and sent His Son Jesus Christ who died for us even while we were still His enemies, He did this so we could be forgiven of our sins and be set free from the control of sin. But like those who have hurt us we can’t receive God’s forgiveness until we say we are sorry from the heart.
What a price God paid so we could be forgiven, it’s a gift we give to others and one we give ourselves, because when we harbour bitterness and resentment, True inner Love, Joy, Hope and Peace eludes us and we cannot fellowship with the Lord because Light and Darkness are incompatible and cannot be in Unity….We cannot be forgiven if we don’t forgive from the heart and True forgiveness seeks to restore, fleshy or worldly forgiveness which is said but not meant, ignores the need to do this and so remains in disunity. We hurt someone who gave His all for us even though we caused Him great pain as we see in the link below.
Mark 11: 25- 26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 5:43-45 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne