I was just reading the following this morning.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS and PATIENCE. Bear with each other and FORGIVE WHATEVER GRIEVANCES you may have against one another. FORGIVE AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU. And over all these virtues put on LOVE which binds them all together in perfect unity.
It’s tough to put aside offense and it’s especially tough when we’ve done nothing to incur the spite of others. Taking a cue from the latest Iron Man flick, Ivan Vanko (Whiplash) was a man full of bitterness, anger & grief. The thing is… how did he get that way? It didn’t just happen overnight and if we parallel the events of this comic book turned big screen character to real life it’d be the same for us as people. Bitterness is a nasty thing. It creeps in on us and before we know it we are crippled by an anger that keeps us from moving on in life. It’s tough to let go of our right to be angry but after having gone through some bitterness & anger in my life I’ve discovered that it’s just not worth it. It’s far better to just let go cos’ the only one who suffers in bitterness is ourselves.
What if Whiplash had just chosen to forgive? What if he had chosen to just move on? We discover in the course of the movie that Vanko was just as brilliant as Tony Stark and he could’ve been someone who could’ve made a difference in his homeland of Russia. Sure, we wouldn’t have a slam-bang slugfest between Iron Man & Whiplash if they had settled their differences but real-life just doesn’t work that way. Do we truly want a slam-bang slugfest with other individuals in our lives? What good does it do anyone?
The Bible teaches me to do it different and the killer secret here is that we are asked to just forgive. Forgiveness is something that I understand a lot more these days. There are just so many things that I can take offense at but by applying forgiveness in my life I find that my heart is lighter and I am a much happier person. What matters more to me is my relationship with my Father in Heaven and what He thinks of me. He loved and forgive us first so wouldn’t it be right for us to do the same for others? In the light of all this harbouring ill-feelings towards others just doesn’t make sense.
Bitterness constricts. Forgiveness brings freedom. Choose freedom.