“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)
Jesus called us to forgive our debtors. Who is a debtor? A debtor is someone who owed us something, but failed to give it to us. Our bitternesses are usually directed at others for their failings. In their book they did something, but in our book they didn’t do enough. We needed more than we got. We deserved more than they gave. The balance scale is unequal. Justice was not served. Honor was not paid. Love was not shown. We should have been worth more, but what was given communicated we weren’t.
Forgiveness cannot undo the past. It cannot eliminate the pain of rejection. But what it can do is free us from the gall of bitterness. It removes the poison out of our system so that we can look at our debtor with different eyes. They are no longer the person who owes us. They are the person we have let go of. We will not be at their door any more to collect. We have turned them over to a Greater Judge who they will one day have to answer to. But in that we have forgiven them, we want Him to forgive them also. And so we pray: “Father, forgive them.”
Now, a heart of mercy has replaced a heart of bitterness. A spirit of intercession has replaced a spirit of condemnation. Now we don’t want to be paid back. The past debt has been cancelled and forgotten about. We don’t need the score to be settled. No matter what they do, we have moved on. In releasing them, we have released ourselves from rehearsing the past and nursing old wounds. Forgiveness alone allows us to heal. Without it our spirit is forever wounded.