I remember a time a when a woman was really being abusive to me, not in a physical sense, but emotionally. I tolerated it year after year until one day it involved my children, and that was it for me. I drew the line!
At that point I became frustrated, and bitterness set in. My mother came to me, and she said, “Lindsay, you have every reason to be bitter.” And I thought, “Wow! That justifies how I am feeling.” Then she said, “But you have no right to be bitter, because Jesus Christ took that right away from you at Calvary. You may have a great reason, but according to the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you have no right to remain bitter.” Then she said, “It’s not up to that person to change; it’s up to you to release that person.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks, and I suddenly realized it didn’t matter if it was a small offense, a medium-sized one, an insult of words, a heinous crime, or whatever, it was just as wrong for me to carry it. I realized at that moment that I was the one who was guilty, and I asked God to forgive me.
Maybe you’re struggling with feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness toward someone who has offended you. Jesus said in Mark 11:25–26 that we must forgive to be forgiven. So, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to release all bitterness right now. Whatever offense it is that you are carrying; the greatest way to set yourself free is to set somebody else free. Just say, “Father God, I refuse to carry bitterness toward that person. I refuse to harbor unforgiveness. Lord, I release them to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”