The High Value of Forgiveness
I once heard a story about a woman who moved back to Georgia to purchase her childhood home. Her mother and father had passed away and the land had to be claimed. One of the first things she had to do was hire someone to clean out the well her father had dug many years before. Over the years, a lot of objects had accumulated in the well and made the water worthless.
The crew retrieved a good-sized pile of junk from the well and showed the woman. But she said, “Nope. There’s more in there. Please keep digging.” This went on for about three days. Finally, at the end of the third day, the woman looked at the pile of trash, toys, and miscellaneous objects that had been taken from the bottom of the well and said, “You’re done.”
Puzzled, one of the men asked how she knew that was it. She answered, “Because when I was a little girl and Papa first dug that well, I took a teapot and threw it in the well. I figured the first thing that went into that well would be the last thing that came out.”
I sincerely ask you: How’s your emotional well? How’s your spiritual well? Is it contaminated with a lot of junk that has accumulated over the years and made the water worthless? For example, are you harboring unforgiveness?
Forgiveness heals the wounded heart and digs out the useless junk that may have found itself at the bottom of your emotional well. If people have done hurtful things to you, it’s not unique. There’s not a person alive who hasn’t suffered because of others.
I have certainly had my own struggles with all kinds of anger, bitterness, and resentment against people who have brought pain into my life. I could hold onto bad feelings about the little league coach who told me I would never amount to anything, an employee who defamed me, or a friend who cut off all communication. But why would I want to clutter up my heart with all that useless junk?
I love what Gary Smalley says, “The past is gone. Why allow it to continue messing up my heart and ruining the present? With forgiveness I can clean all that stuff out, so that my heart becomes an orderly, clean, organized room where God and I can sit comfortably and enjoy a loving relationship. Forgiveness heals the wounded heart... both hearts actually.”
What does God’s Word have to say that will help you when you need to forgive others? The following verses will give you the power to extend forgiveness and carry it through.
Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"