Week seven in Live Second is about relationships. The video is of Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs.
I chose to focus on Day 2: Release. The daily Bible reading is Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unforgiving servant.
I don't know about you, but I've been that servant. I know that God has forgiven me, and I know what Ephesians 4:32 says, but it's sometimes hard for me to extend forgiveness to those who've hurt me. This was especially true a few years ago. Someone close to me hurt me more deeply than I'd ever been hurt before. She asked for forgiveness, and I told her I forgave her, but I didn't. Instead, I hung onto the pain and bitterness, and I let it fester inside until I had not only practically severed my relationship with my friend, but I also had pushed so, so far from God.
Finally, God used a sermon preached by my pastor to get my attention. (I blogged about the sermon here.) I finally truly forgave. I would say that, more than three years later, I'm still reaping the consequences of my bitterness, and I don't know if my friend and I will ever again experience the closeness we once had. But I've also learned a powerful lesson about the perils of unforgiveness, and every time I'm tempted to hang onto something, this example from my own life comes to mind. I truly believe what Doug Bender says in Live Second: "Forgiveness is what lets hurts heal, relationships begin recovery, and life to move on."
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