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  • Writer's pictureJohn Phillips

What’s Holding You Back?

I was out cutting the grass for what I hope is the last time this year when I suddenly remembered something that I hadn’t thought of in years! The smell of fresh cut grass brought back old memories of church picnics and three-legged races! Do you remember those? That’s where we’d tie your leg to the leg of a partner; then you try to run to the finish line tied to each other. Of course you stumble, stagger and limp your way along all the while looking like an idiot! But what's really crazy is when you fall down and your partner decides to keep running, dragging you along to the finish line. So now you know why I remember the smell of fresh cut grass so vividly!

You know, it got me to thinking that there are some people trying to run the race of life tied to somebody or something that has hurt them. Some folks drag around the hurts, anger and bitterness of all those who’ve wronged them in life. But the irony of bitterness is that it ties us emotionally to the very person or thing that we're bitter toward. It's like trying to run that three-legged race; you can't run like you need to run until you cut the rope that ties you to the person who wronged you! And the only the only way to cut that rope is by doing what seems unthinkable - forgiving that person! Until you do, you’ll keep thinking about them, replaying the tapes of how you were wronged or dwelling on all your wounds.

If any of this applies to you, my prayer is that today you'll cut the rope and stop dragging around the person who hurt you. How do you do that? God’s word gives us the key. Paul writes, "Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Col. 3:13) Now our human nature says, "Yeah, but you don't know what that person did to me." But God says, "Just think about all you've been forgiven of by me”. If God has forgiven you, how can you refuse to forgive another?

The Lord doesn’t forgive us because we deserved it. We don't. Forgiveness was a choice - an expensive choice for Him that cost the blood of Christ. And it’s a choice for us today to cut the rope of anger or bitterness and release the one who hurt you totally into the hands of to God. When you forgive the one who's wronged you, you cut the rope and set yourself free!

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