Drop your baggage of unforgiveness

Drop your baggage of unforgiveness

A high school teacher was teaching her students a lesson on forgiveness. She instructed her students to carry a sack to school each day. Each time they hurt someone or refused to forgive someone they were asked to put a potato in their sack.

When they return home they had to place the sack beside the pillow before sleeping. They were to carry the sack again to school. As the days went on, the students began to complain that the sack was becoming heavier to carry and the foul smell of the rotting potatoes disturbed their sleep.

When we are unforgiving, there is a burden upon us.

Author Lewis Smedes in his book ‘Forgive and Forget’ speaks about a Jewish prisoner who worked in a Nazi camp hospital.

One day a nurse asked him to stay by the bedside of a dying German soldier. The dying soldier looked at the Jewish prisoner with great remorse, saying “I know what I am asking is too much, but without your answer I cannot die in peace”. The soldier was asking for forgiveness.

The Jewish prisoner pondered for a long minute and then walked away, leaving the soldier to die without his forgiveness. The prisoner survived the war but the incident haunted his conscience all his life.

We sometimes carry hatred, grudge and unforgiveness in our hearts for many years. But when we begin to forgive, we experience a peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away from us. If you want to experience peace, drop the baggage of unforgiveness you are carrying on your shoulders.

Jesus presents us a parable on forgiveness. A certain King had begun to reconcile with his servant.

One was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents (currency).  But because he couldn’t pay, the king commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had.  The servant begged forgiveness, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’  Moved with compassion, the king released him, and forgave him the debt.

But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him just one hundred denari, which was a smaller amount. He grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 

His fellow servant begged him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ But he never forgave him and cast him into prison. His fellow servants reported what they saw, to the king.

Then the king said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.  Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’   (Mathew 18:23-35).

The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ taught by Jesus urges us to forgive others as God unconditionally forgives us.

Look up at God’s forgiveness upon you and look around to see whom you need to forgive.

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