I often think that we take freedom away from ourselves on a daily basis. This comes from holding onto things and nursing offenses for much longer than they deserve the attention.
Life isn’t easy. We all go through devastating hardships, heartbreaking circumstances, and complete losses. But are we letting the negative flashbacks define our lives?
Like many young women, and many people in general in our generation, I will always have to carry around the knowledge that my biological father chose not to be very involved in my life. For many years, this left me feeling abandoned, cold, and closed off. This will always be true and always be a fact. There is nothing I can do to change what has already been done. Now, this doesn’t mean I can’t be sad sometimes or feel hurt. But it also doesn’t give me the right to turn into a bitter, angry, cynical girl with a hardened heart.
I could choose to be that girl. That’s my right…my choice…my freedom. But it wouldn’t make me feel very free. Instead, it would alter my life, my relationships, and my opportunities for joy forever.
We have to learn that it’s okay for us to be hurt. It is completely normal to be sad and upset and struggle. But are we tending, caring, and nursing our offenses? Are we watering what has wronged us and letting it grow and grow until it consumes our lives?
Maybe you’ve been struggling with forgiving a friend for saying something behind your back. Perhaps you’ve been nursing that offense for a long time, and you can feel it changing your heart.
Or maybe you have a parent who has abandoned you. Your anger and confusion could be standing in the way of a joy-filled life.
Perhaps the offense you are nursing is the most personal of all. Maybe you will not give yourself grace. You won’t forgive yourself for something in the past. You are already brand new to God. If the creator of the stars sees you as wiped clean, completely beautiful, you have to give yourself freedom again and let go of the offense.
God has given us free will. He has given us ultimate freedom. Don’t take your own freedom away by choosing to nurse an offense. Choose joy…choose grace…choose forgiveness…and choose freedom. Only water the things in your life that should continue living in it.