Hebrews 12:15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
You may be justified in your bitterness, but it still contaminates everything.
You may have every right to not forgive certain people in your life. But you need to know bitterness contaminates everything. It spreads far and wide and deep.
And maybe the most dangerous and destructive thing about bitterness is that it doesn’t remain isolated to the source of bitterness, but spreads to all of your relationships. Left unchecked it will ruin everything that is important to you.
You see, when you don’t forgive someone, you let them park in your life forever. These people are like parasites that can suck the life right out of you and allow bitterness to rot you out. If you let these people and their actions haunt your thoughts, emotions, and spirit, you allow them to continually damage not only you, but those around you, too.
Almost everyday I come in contact with people who are allowing unforgiven anger and bitterness from their past to destroy them today. Unknowingly their unwillingness to forgive is impacting their marriage, the way they treat their kids and their attitude toward most everything in life.
I’m not going to pretend like forgiveness is always easy because we all know it isn’t. Some of you have been hurt in ways I can’t imagine. Someone wounded you, or betrayed you or lied to you or maybe cheated you. You’re afraid if you let go of the hurt, they get away with something. And you’re right, to forgive you will pay a high cost. In fact the only thing that will cost you more than forgiveness is not forgiving someone.
I know you want to see them hurt back, but that desire is a weight or burden that actually becomes a part of you. You’ll carry that weight from relationship to relationship, from season to season and if you carry that bitterness and anger around long enough it will choke the joy out of your life.
It costs a lot to forgive. But to not forgive will eventually cost you your heart.