Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:13 NKJV
Seth had a problem. About six months ago, his wife told him she was pregnant by another man and she was leaving him to marry that man. They had two kids and in the divorce settlement; he had to pay child support and had to sell the house he couldn’t afford any more. He could barely afford this ramshackle house he bought in its place and it needed a new deck. The boards were in terrible shape and probably couldn’t hold his weight. They were so rotten. He was going to destroy the old deck and build a new one.
They nailed the deck down and instead of taking a pry bar and prying up the boards; he took a sledgehammer and started wailing away at the boards with gusto. He was imagining the boards were his ex-wife’s face.
He had destroyed about half of it when he took a big swing and hit a board, but lost control of the hammer and hit himself in the leg. He didn’t break his leg, but he knew he would have a good bruise on it.
He had to stop working for the day and put an ice pack on his leg. As he sat there with the ice pack on his leg, he thought about what his friend John had told him about forgiving his ex-wife.
“You need to forgive her. All you’re doing is hurting yourself.”
He thought about how unforgiveness is like that sledge hammer he was using on his deck. He lost control of it and hurt himself. Now he couldn’t work on his deck and would probably walk around with a limp for the next few days. He felt like spiritually he was limping.
He also felt like those rotten deck boards. Like unforgiveness was causing him to rot from the inside out, and he just couldn’t handle the weight of it all.
He remembered Matthew 11:28-30, 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Unforgiveness was like a weight and a hammer. A weight he couldn’t carry and a hammer he couldn’t control and only hurt himself with.
“Lord,” he prayed. “I ask you to forgive me for all the hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness I’ve had toward Mona. I forgive her and give all this to you. Thank you in Jesus’ Name.”
He felt lighter and began praying for Mona and her husband. He limped around for a week but, spiritually; he felt like he was the healthiest he’d been in a long time.