No, I’m not talking about weed killer or some other chemical that can damage our health. I am talking about nursing resentments and failing to forgive.
I once heard an evangelist on the television say, “Having resentment towards someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” How true. When we hold on to resentments, gripe about our unfair burdens, and fail to forgive those who have harmed us, we damage ourselves and those around us. We allow ourselves to become victims over and over again.
The hurt inflicted on us or those we love cannot be forgotten. Try as we might, we cannot forget an event that happened just because the information retrieved is painful. God gave us memories and intellect. We are not like God in this respect. When God forgives, God forgets. We have a forgetful God. How marvelous! Our sins, when confessed, are plunged into the deepest part of the sea, never to arise again – unless we drag them up.
The same is true when someone unjustly harms us. If we nurse the pain and change our expressions whenever that person’s name is mentioned; when we steel ourselves and harden our hearts, then we perpetuate the original crime. Of course, this hardness most often hurts the people around us – our family members who misinterpret our coldness, friends who cannot break through our defenses, and educators who sense our distraction and often our disinterest. The plank of un-forgiveness even blinds us to our sins and failures. We end up hurting ourselves and others even more than the original offense hurt us. We neglect Jesus’ command to “forgive those who trespass against us,” so that we ourselves can experience total forgiveness.