I'll be teaching on forgiveness this weekend in our services. I ran across this illustration that I think says a lot. Two men at a nursing home had been quarreling for years. One of the men thought he was on his deathbed so he called his foe over to his bed and said, “John, I forgive you for what you have said and done against me over the years, and I want you to do the same for me.” The other man, with tears in his eyes, agreed that he too would like to forgive and be forgiven. Then the man in the bed said, “But if I get better, this doesn’t count!”
If we don't forgive, we are bound to the people we cannot forgive. An unforgiving spirit is little better than being like inmates of an internal concentration camp. While we often try to punish and imprison those who hurt us, the reverse actually happens. When we don't forgive, we end up being tortured. The worst prison in the world is the prison of an unforgiving heart.
Lewis Smedes said, "When I genuinely forgive, I set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner I set free was me."
Think about it...