The prison of unforgiveness
I googled my name. Wait, hear me out, I had a good reason. Besides, you’ve probably done it too. My actions were motivated by slacking, which I suppose is the ultimate oxymoron, but it is true. I discovered someone was in a self-constructed prison of unforgiveness.
2 Corinthians 11:30, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weaknesses.” NIV
RATE A DOCTOR
Multiple websites are available for patients to provide feedback about their doctors, so googling my name yielded multiple results. Over the years, I have had my share of positive and negative reviews and I am mostly immune to it. Still, I was caught off guard by one particular entry.
Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” KJV
For the third time, I am participating in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team. Every other year, Living Proof Ministries host a challenge for women to memorize Bible verses. I usually record my scriptures in a spiral notebook of index cards, but when I opened it I noticed a page was left totally blank. Apparently, I forgot to write down my verse, much less learn it. I thought I could find it if I googled my name. Instead, I was heartbroken when I noticed a new review.
She was rude. I am glad she is gone.
My skin is pretty thick, but this review was dated June 24, 2015. Why would someone post an on-line rant about me three hundred sixty-four days after I quit practicing medicine due to a debilitating disease?
Proverbs 30:32-33, “If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose. Churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights.” MSG
LET ME APOLOGIZE
First, let me say I am truly sorry. I’m not upset about the review, opinions are fickle anyway. I just feel terrible that someone out there is still dragging around ill feelings because of something I said over a year ago. It is conceivable she misunderstood my bluntness and concern for rudeness. Of course I must admit, I am perfectly capable of rudeness. Perhaps I had a bad day or maybe I was sleep deprived or possibly facing a life-altering diagnosis (I battled ocular myasthenia gravis for six weeks before the disease generalized). Nevertheless, there is no excuse, so I apologize.
Romans 7:18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” ESV
THE COLD, HARD TRUTH
I am sorry I caused someone to stew about me for so long, but as gently as I can, I would like to tell this person: I honestly don’t remember. Do you hear what I am saying? I have not thought about her, I have not lost one minute of sleep and I don’t even know who she is. Admittedly, that may indicate I have been rude to more than one person, but what really made me sad is to realize that she is my prisoner. She has chained herself to me for over three hundred sixty-four days.
Let me go.
2 Peter 2:19, “For by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” NASB
One of the biggest challenges I have ever faced is forgiving those who have wronged me. Two doctors betrayed me and the breach in trust was nearly as incurable as my disease. Although I retold the story and nursed the grudge, I am pretty confident they were left relatively unscathed. In fact, they probably don’t even remember me. Unforgiveness destroys the offended and not the offender, they are free. So let them go.
1 Corinthians 7:23, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” NKJV
BREAK THE CHAINS
By the way, what is that you are dragging behind you?
Are you attached to someone who has not thought about you in a long time?
Do you lay awake at night harboring a grudge against your…
- step mother
Fill in you own blank, then unchain yourself. Even if you never get a well-deserved apology, cut yourself loose. Don’t be a prisoner to someone who never gives you a second thought. Trust me, I understand forgiveness is not easy, it is a choice. Hard choices require constant effort, but the alternative is to keep dragging it around. That’s exhausting. Isn’t it time to move on?
Forgive others. Forgive me too, and I’ll try to be nice.
Ephesians 4:32, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” NLT
This post was actually the beginning of my own journey to forgive. Click here to order my book, “Dressing the Wound: Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness.”