A couple of weeks ago I asked our church a simple question. So let me ask you the same thing: Anyone ever not been burned by someone, taken advantage of, or hurt by somebody else? Anyone? I didn’t think so. We’ve all been hurt, but the real issue is what we do with those hurts.
In January 1647, Oliver Cromwell captured King Charles I during the British Revolution. But a few months later, Charles escaped and managed to raise another army. In August 1648 Cromwell’s army defeated Charles’ army and once again Charles was taken prisoner. Cromwell had Charles tried for his crimes, and after the guilty verdict was issued, Charles I was executed. A total of 59 people signed his death warrant.
Eleven years later Cromwell’s son Richard had taken his place as Lord Protector of England, and there was great discontent with his leadership. As a result, the Loyalists were able to sweep Charles II into power. Charles II wanted the 59 death warrant signors put on trial, but 15 of them had already died. Charles II ordered their bodies exhumed, placed on trial, convicted, and then hung.
I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s safe to say that Charles II might have had a problem with unforgiveness!
It’s highly unlikely that you have dug up any dead bodies and put them on trial lately.
Or maybe you have…
When someone has hurt us, we tend to keep the pain alive. Sometimes even after that person is long-gone from our life, we still exhume the corpse of their injury, put them on trial, convict them, and punish them all over again. But this process is actually punishing YOU. As long as you keep the hurt alive, you are trapped in the past.
The key to freedom is easy and yet hard: forgiveness.