I recently spoke with a stepmom whose family is under a great deal of stress due to the rebellion of her teenage stepson. Hurtful words and damaging comments have strained relationships within the family.
She knows she must offer forgiveness for words hurled at her but is struggling with her emotions from the situation.
In their book, The Smart Stepmom, Ron Deal and Laura Petherbridge offer thoughts on forgiveness: “If you are waiting until the feeling to forgive comes upon you, it’s unlikely to occur. Forgiveness is an act of obedience to God because we trust him and believe He has our best interest at heart. When we cling to revenge, anger, and rage it often destroys us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.”
They go on to say,”Christ paid too much for his beloved ones to become slaves to anything, much less hatred. He wants his children free. And a person is never free when he or she is weighed down with the ball and chain of bitterness. When the cold shackles of revenge are tightly clasped around our wrists, it’s impossible to lift our hands in praise to Him.”
It’s easy to become entangled in the throes of bitterness when we’ve been hurt. But when we allow ourselves to do that, we become slaves to emotions that don’t go away. We won’t find freedom in that condition.
Forgiveness is never easy. But it is essential to healthy relationships.
Who do you need to offer forgiveness to today?