If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
PSALM 130:3-4 (NIV)
I recently left a company I had been instrumental in building over the past decade. I was in a leadership role, so the choice to leave was difficult. I could not explain exactly what was wrong, but I knew things were changing. When I shared my concerns about where the company was headed, colleagues I once trusted turned their backs on me. I walked away, feeling broken and defeated.
The traditional stages of grief include denial, anger, and depression, followed by eventual acceptance. In Psalm 130, God makes it clear that forgiveness is also essential. Although time eased the pain of loss and betrayal, without the extra step of forgiveness I was consumed by a desire for retribution. Wanting bad things to happen to the people who hurt me was not healthy, and it kept me focused on their failings instead of acknowledging my own. As I stewed over the injustice of my situation, I was unable to see that God could use this painful experience to strengthen my faith.
We cannot move forward with God if our energy is spent nursing old wounds or hoping for another’s misfortune. Instead, we can seek God’s wisdom and comfort as we work through the pain, remaining open to what God has in store for us.
Dear heavenly Father, help us to forgive so that we can let go of the past and grow closer to you. Amen.
The Upper Room By Reese Delaney (Georgia, USA)